With the NFL regular season over, it’s time to debate and argue to argue about All-Pro teams, Pro Bowl selections and league awards, so I figured I’d get into the action with the 2022 All-AFC West team. Today, we’ll focus on the offense and while the Las Vegas Raiders struggled as a whole this season, they did have a few strong individual performances worthy of recognition.
For anyone who disagrees with the selections below, just know I’ve got my boxing gloves up and I’m ready to argue!
Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes
I’m sure someone will find a way but it’s hard to debate this one. Patrick Mahomes looks like the runaway winner for NFL MVP this year and has been a first-team All-Pro on just about every list imaginable. He led the league in passing yards by over 500, had the most passing touchdowns by six and broke Drew Brees’ record for total yards in a season. Mahomes didn’t skip a beat without Tyreek Hill which might make this the most impressive campaign of his young career, and that’s saying a lot.
Running back: Josh Jacobs
Much like at quarterback, there’s no debate on who the best running back in the division was this year. Josh Jacobs won the rushing title with 1,653 yards and ranked tied for fifth with 12 rushing touchdowns. He also added a career-high 400 receiving yards to eclipse 2,000 yards from scrimmage and was another unanimous First-Team All-Pro.
Wide Receiver 1: Davante Adams
The AFC West certainly had firepower this year as Davante Adams was another unquestioned First-Teamer on any list. As far as the rest of the division goes, no other receiver had 1,000 receiving yards while Adams ranked third across the entire league with 1,516. He also led the league with 14 receiving touchdowns.
Wide Receiver 2: Jerry Jeudy
Jerry Jeudy was the second-most productive receiver in the AFC West this year. While his 68 catches only ranked fourth at the position, his 987 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns were both good enough for second place. He also proved to be a great slot receiver with 519 of those yards and four of those touchdowns coming on the inside, both of which were good enough to at least tie for the top spot in the division.
Wide Receiver 3: Mike Williams
JuJu Smith-Schuster made a strong case to earn the last wide receiver spot, but Mike Williams was just as impactful with less playing time. Smith-Schuster played in 16 games to Williams’ 13 but only had about 40 more receiving yards — 933 to 895 — and had one fewer touchdown. Also, the Chargers’ offense averaged 3.5 more points per game and over 50 yards more per game when the 6’4” downfield threat suited up.
Tight End: Travis Kelce
Another one that’s pretty straightforward. Travis Kelce was another First-Team All-Pro who put up stats that compared better against wide receivers than other tight ends. League-wide, Kelce ranked third with 110 catches, eighth with 1,338 yards and was just behind Adams with 12 receiving touchdowns. As far as AFC West tight ends go, the Chief had 52 more receptions than second-place Gerald Everett, 783 more yards and eight more touchdowns.
Left Tackle: Kolton Miller
Kolton Miller is arguably the biggest Pro Bowl snub in the entire conference, let alone the division. He finished the season as Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded (84.1) offensive tackle in the AFC, over four points higher than Laremy Tunsil in second place. Instead, Kansas City’s Orlando Brown Jr. will be headed to the All-Star game, after giving up 14 more pressures and posting a worse run-blocking grade than Miller by over seven points.
Left Guard: Joe Thuney
There wasn’t much competition for Thuney at left guard. He was a Second-Team All-Pro selection, and the only starter at the position within the division to post a PFF Grade above 62, with a 77.3 mark that ranked sixth among all guards across the league. Also, his 98.7 pass-blocking efficiency rating tied for fourth-best at the position.
Center: Creed Humphrey
Put Creed Humphrey in the same category as Thuney. The Second-Team All-Pro led all centers with an elite 90.0 PFF grade and didn’t allow a sack all year. In two years as a pro, he’s pass-blocked over for 1,500 snaps and has allowed the quarterback to get touched four times, one sack in Week 4 of his rookie season and three QB hits in two years.
Right guard: Trey Smith
Quinn Meinerz made a strong case for this spot, but Trey Smith had just as good of a season and played more. Meinerz had the grading advantage — 77.7 to 71.5 — and allowed half as many pressures as Smith — 16 to 32 — but the latter played in three more games and nearly 300 more snaps, including about 220 more in pass protection. So, the volume stats should favor the Bronco and, in a close battle, availability is the deciding factor here.
Right tackle: Jermaine Eluemunor
While he’s not a Pro Bowl snub like Miller is, Jermaine Eluemunor was, quietly, one of the better offensive tackles in the AFC this year. He finished seventh in the conference with a 75.3 PFF grade, allowing just 26 pressures — eighth-fewest — and grading out as the fourth-best run blocker (75.7). The only other right tackle in the division to give Eluemunor a run for his money was Cameron Fleming, who played about the same amount of snaps but graded out slightly lower across the board and gave up two more pressures.