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Rob Weintraub's All-AFC West Team

by Rob Weintraub

Nearly forty percent of every team's schedule is made up of division games. Every coach and player talks about the importance of winning games against division foes. Schemes and personnel are very often tailored to matching up with division opponents. Yet when it comes to naming the best players at season's end, we never classify them by division. Where are the All-Division teams? This has always mystified me. Colleges name All-Conference teams, why not do likewise for the professional ranks?

Well rest easy, I've done it for you, this time with the AFC West. Naturally, this being Football Outsiders, our stats are used to justify selections whenever necessary.


QB: Patrick Mahomes, KC

Patty Ice finished with a 40.1% DVOA, 15th-best rating for any quarterback since 1989, displacing Matty Ice's MVP season from two years ago. Needless to say, it was the best debut season (he's not a rookie, remember) we've ever tracked. Kurt Warner in his magical 1999 put up a 36.1%, but his 1,586 DYAR paled in comparison to Mahomes' 2,039. Ben Roethlisberger had a 31.7% in his rookie campaign of 2004 as well, the only other passer within sniffing distance. Tough break for Philip Rivers, who was third in DYAR/DVOA but needed binoculars to find Mahomes.

RB: Phillip Lindsay, DEN
RB: Melvin Gordon, LAC

Kareem Hunt removed himself from consideration, opening the slots for two other guys with good years. Lindsay may not have been Priest Holmes in the annals of undrafted running backs, but his excellent season easily put him on the All-Div squad. Gordon finished fifth in DYAR despite his injuries.

WR: Tyreek Hill, KC
WR: Keenan Allen, LAC
WR: Mike Williams, LAC
TE: Travis Kelce, KC

No surprises here, and more evidence for why the Chiefs and Chargers were the best two teams in the AFC.

OT: Eric Fisher, KC
OT: Mitchell Schwartz, KC
OG: Dan Feeney, LAC
OG: Cameron Erving, KC
C: Mike Pouncey, LAC

Once Ronald Leary tore his Achilles tendon, the guard spot was wide open. At least there was a quality center to replace Denver's Matt Paradis, who would have been a shoo-in for the All-Div before breaking his leg. Mitchell Schwartz was a mensch all season at tackle, and a big reason for the Chiefs' offensive success.


DE: Melvin Ingram, LAC
DE: Chris Jones, KC
DT: Derek Wolfe, DEN
DT: Darius Philon, LAC

I used to call Ingram "The Octopus" when he was a do-it-all defender at South Carolina. Now he's more like "The Architeuthis." (That's a giant squid, people, turn off the football once in a while…)

OLB: Von Miller, DEN
OLB: Dee Ford, KC
ILB: Anthony Hitchens, KC
ILB: Todd Davis, DEN

Lots of mixing and matching of positions in the AFC West, which is why Bradley Chubb and his 12 sacks were "edged" off the team.

CB: Desmond King, LAC
CB: Chris Harris Jr., DEN
S: Derwin James, LAC
S: Adrian Phillips, LAC

Harris only played a dozen games but was still good enough to crack the All-Div squad. Between rookies James and King, the Chargers are poised to establish the new "No-Fly Zone" in the AFC West, however.


P: Dustin Colquitt, KC
K: Harrison Butker, KC
RET: Dwayne Harris, OAK

Colquitt, of the punting Colquitts, had a strong season, but was aided by the fact that the other AFC West squads featured three of our bottom five punters. Butker scored 65 points on extra points, more than eight teams scored on field goals. Had he made all 69 he attempted, that number would have risen to 14. With San Diego's and Oakland's kicking carousels in the division, Butker didn't face much competition. The K.C. combo of Tyreek Hill (punt) and Tremon Smith (kick) were the better unit, but we prefer the double-duty men here at FO. Harris bests Desmond King of L.A. in that regard.


8 comments, Last at 20 Jan 2019, 2:07pm

4 Re: Rob Weintraub's All-AFC West Team

Hitchens? You are telling me that there wasn't a single better ILB than Hitchens in the rest of the AFC West? He has had a horrendous year by the eyeball test. Most Chiefs fans believe that him and Ragland playing so slow and passively is the primary cause for the defensive issues.

7 Re: Rob Weintraub's All-AFC West Team

Best team according to current Madden ratings:

QB: Patrick Mahomes KC (94)
RBs: Melvin Gordon LAC (90), Marshawn Lynch OAK (88)
WRs: Tyreek Hill KC (94), Keenan Allen LAC (90), Emmanuel Sanders DEN (89), Sammy Watkins KC (84)
TEs: Travis Kelce KC (96), Jared Cook OAK (88)
OTs: Mitchell Schwartz KC (90), Garrett Bolles DEN (80)
OGs: Kelechi Osemele OAK (83), Ron Leary DEN (82)
C: Rodney Hudson OAK (94)
6th OL: Matt Paradis DEN (88)

Close: QB Philip Rivers LAC (93), WR Jordy Nelson OAK (84), WR Tyrell Williams LAC (83), TE Hunter Henry LAC (87)

DEs: Joey Bosa LAC (91), Melvin Ingram LAC (91), Justin Houston KC (88)
DT: Chris Jones KC (91), Corey Liuget LAC (83)
LBs: Von Miller DEN (98), Shaquil Barrett DEN (80), Jatavis Brown LAC (79)
CBs: Chris Harris DEN (89), Casey Heyward LAC (89), Kendall Fuller KC (86), Desmond King LAC (85)
Ss: Eric Berry KC (93), Derwin James LAC (87), Justin Simmons DEN (81)

Close: DE Dee Ford KC (87), LB Tahir Whitehead OAK (78), CB Jason Verrett LAC (84), S Adrian Phillips LAC (80)

K: Harrison Butker KC (81)
P: Dustin Colquitt KC (82)

Close: K Brandon McManus DEN (80)

Of the 32 players selected (15 O, 15 D, 2 ST) we have:
KC: 11 (5 O, 4 D, 2 ST) + 1 on the close list
LAC: 9 (2 O, 7 D) + 5 on the close list
DEN: 8 (4 O, 4 D) + 1 on the close list
OAK: 4 (4 O, 0 D) + 2 on the close list

8 Re: Rob Weintraub's All-AFC West Team

A lot of these guys didn't even play this year. Hunter Henry was on IR all year, for example. Many other LAC here saw very limited service in 2018. And I don't know the other teams' personnel as well as I should, but for instance the top rated SS, Eric Berry, is in the mix for today's game and I just read he played in only 2 games this year for a total of 8 tackles.