As August comes to a close and the start of the NFL season dawns upon us, the Last Word on NFL Department will be looking at the best players in each division by position. Here we’ll be looking at the 2020 AFC West All-Division Team, who currently looks to be one of the better divisions in the league – hence, there is no shortage of talent. This article will focus on the offense.
AFC West All-Division Team: Offense
Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs)
One of the more clear-cut and uncontested picks here. Patrick Mahomes is two years removed from an MVP season and is coming off a Super Bowl win which included him getting the Super Bowl MVP award. He’s had 76 touchdown passes in two years. Right now, no one else in the AFC West is even close to his level. And now he’s been locked up by the Kansas City Chiefs for the next decade, so he’ll probably be making the AFC West All-Division Team for at least several years to come.
Running Back: Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders)
The biggest bright spot for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2019 was the breakout of then-rookie running back Josh Jacobs. He rushed for 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games and quickly established himself in the league as a result, and he could still just get better from here – especially given that he’s got the best o-line in the division to help him out.
Wide Receiver: Keenan Allen (Los Angeles Chargers)
Keenan Allen’s been on another level ever since he came back from his ACL tear back in 2016. Since then, he hasn’t missed a game, has had two 100+ reception seasons, and 18 touchdowns over three years. While he doesn’t have the circus catch abilities of the top elites at the position, he’s one of the best route-runners in the game and his hands are still quite reliable. Whether it’s Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert out there at quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers, they’ll be glad to have Allen to throw to.
Wide Receiver: Courtland Sutton (Denver Broncos)
Courtland Sutton broke out very nicely in his sophomore year in 2019, bringing in 72 receptions for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns. He got a Pro Bowl nod for his efforts. Sutton notably took the uncontested lead at receiver when the Denver Broncos traded Emmanuel Sanders away, but only continued to flourish. He’s arguably one of the better younger players at his position and is definitely an exciting player for the Broncos.
Wide Receiver: Tyreek Hill (Chiefs)
It’s still a bit difficult to view Tyreek Hill as a pure wide receiver of the same type as Allen or Sutton – after all, he is a little bit of a one-trick pony. The thing is, he’s really, really good at that one trick – which is running really fast – faster than probably anybody else in the league. And also not having hands of stone. Combine that with one of the best deep passers in the league for his quarterback, and you’ve got a very deadly weapon.
Tight End: Travis Kelce (Chiefs)
Like his teammate Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce has benefited heavily from the arrival of Patrick Mahomes. He’s had exactly 200 receptions over the past two years, 2,500+ receiving yards, and 15 touchdowns. He’s currently dueling with George Kittle for the title of best in the league at tight end, but he’s pretty easily the best in the AFC right now.
Left Tackle: Eric Fisher (Chiefs)
While Eric Fisher may not necessarily have lived up to his No. 1 pick overall billing, he’s still become quite a good and long-tenured tackle for the Chiefs. His blocking ability (along with the rest of the line) has been a part of the success of the Chiefs, and he did get a Pro Bowl berth for this in 2018. After missing half the season in 2019, he’ll need to stay healthy. But if he’s out there, then he’s the current best left tackle in the division.
Left Guard: Richie Incognito (Raiders)
It’s hard to believe after his off-the-field issues and missing a whole season in 2018 that we’re seeing Richie Incognito on this list. But he stayed out of trouble this past season and contributed to the best offensive line in the West. That said, he didn’t have much competition either for getting this spot.
Center: Rodney Hudson (Raiders)
Despite some of their struggles at other positions last year, the Raiders have had strong offensive lines for a few years now – and center Rodney Hudson is one of the longer-tenured of the bunch. Since arriving in 2015, he’s collected three Pro Bowls, which includes this past season (he also got a Second-Team All-Pro berth for 2019). The Raiders clearly have taken notice, because just before last season, they made him the highest-paid center in the league.
Right Guard: Trai Turner (Chargers)
Trai Turner, who was just traded to the Chargers this off-season, has had a remarkable streak of making five Pro Bowls in a row – the only year he didn’t make it was his rookie year. While he may not be quite as elite as that statistic would imply, he was still quite a reliable guard for the Carolina Panthers for years, and ought to be a huge upgrade for the Chargers, who have struggled heavily on the right side of the line for a while.
Right Tackle: Mitchell Schwartz (Chiefs)
This could’ve also gone to Trent Brown, who had probably the best season of his career thus far with the Raiders in 2019. However, Schwartz has been a top tier right tackle for the last few years with the Chiefs and that continued in 2019. Notably, his streak of 7,894 consecutive snaps came to an end last year – at the time, that was the longest streak among active players in the NFL.
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