NFL2014 Crystal Schnoz Predictions – AFC West

3 notes before we get to the predictions:

1. NFL predictions are so hard to nail because of injuries, parity, and random bounces of the ball. That’s why this is so fun.

2. FO = Football Outsiders. I reference them and their phenomenal stats a lot. Their almanac is fantastic, go buy it.

3. Share your predictions in the comments so we can come back in January and marvel at how much smarter I am than you.


#1 – Denver Broncos

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) This offense was the best on 2nd down, 3rd down, and in the Red Zone last year. You name the metric, they pretty much owned it.

2) Von Miller is coming back from a torn ACL and Danny Trevathan will miss September with a tibia fracture, so it’s not all roses, candy, and omahas.

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) Peyton Manning practices his accuracy in the off-season by throwing grains of rice into electrical outlets.

2) After their crushing super bowl defeat in February, offensive coordinator Adam Gase locked himself in a hotel room and watched the game on repeat for 14 straight days.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: a scalpel

Celebrity Fans: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Judah Freidlander

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: The team doctor adds pot brownies to their post-game meals but he gets a bad batch of weed that is laced with a hallucinogenic and the team all thinks that they are are freezing to death so they build a huge bonfire and jump into it and they all die.

Schnoz Prediction: 12-4

Why:  Expect more of the same from this incredible offense. Emanuel Sanders and Montee Ball won’t completely make up for the losses of Decker and Moreno, but getting Ryan Clady back will help keep Manning in top form. On defense the addition of DeMarcus Ware almost seems unfair. If they’re trotting him out in December alongside a healthy Trevathan and Von Miller, this will be the team to beat come January.

#2 – San Diego Chargers

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) The Chargers had the 2nd best offense in football last year per FO. Wow!

2) The Chargers had the worst defense in football last year per FO. Wow.

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) LB Manti Te’o still loves that fake person.

2) Head Coach Mike McCoy has never purchased Hatfield Hams, but he doesn’t even realize why.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: an umbrella

Celebrity Fans: Chuck Liddell and Phil Mickelson

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: The team goes to the beach on an off day and realizes they live in San Diego and why the heck are they playing football anyway when it’s so nice out and then Sharknado 4 happens on their beach and they all die.

Schnoz Prediction: 11-5

Why: Both the offense and the defense will probably move towards the mean, but we like the offense to stick closer to their 2013 production and keep this team headed in the right direction. Frank Reich might be a revelation as an Offensive Coordinator, even though there’s not a ton of room for improvement on an offense that was 2nd passing and 12th rushing last year. The biggest reason we like San Diego to hit 10 wins is the schedule. While no cakewalk, it’s more favorable than the Chiefs and Raiders in their own division (see below). Go forth and make Ron Burgundy proud, mighty bolts.

#3 – Kansas City Chiefs

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) Last year the Chiefs went 11-5 against the league’s EASIEST schedule.

2) FO says the Chiefs have the second TOUGHEST schedule in the league this year.

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) QB Alex Smith has never said the word ‘genitals’.

2) Defensive Tackle Dontari Poe is convinced he could do a better job of hosting Survivor than Jeff Probst. “C’mon in Guys!”, that’s all he ever says to start challenges,” Poe complained. “I’d mix it up a little. ‘Get in here guys!’, ‘Scooch over here y’all!’, ‘Gather round everyone!’ … I’d really bring a fresh take. And I’d mix up the outfits more, get rid of the baseball hat, really class that joint up.”

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: One Direction

Celebrity Fans: Brad Pitt, Eric Stonestreet, and Paul Rudd

Best Case Scenario: 16-0

Worst Case Scenario: Andy Reid slathers the entire team in barbecue sauce, cooks them over an open flame, and sells the meat to underground cannibals and they all die.

Schnoz Prediction: 6-10

Why: Everyone knew the Chiefs would vastly improve on their 2-14 finish in 2012 and it happened. Well, it’s deja vu in reverse this year. The Chiefs will struggle to get to 8 wins, never mind repeating last year’s 11-win performance. The schedule is challenging, the offensive line is in rough shape, and they can’t expect another year as the #1 team in Special Teams. This team was 2-5 after the bye last year before losing a huge lead to the Colts in their first round playoff exit, and I expect this season to continue that trend.

#4 – Oakland Raiders

2 Things You Might Already Know

1) The Raiders are projected to have the TOUGHEST schedule in the league this year.

2) They signed Matt Schaub to be their starting QB this year, and rookie Derek Carr already looks poised to take over the role.

2 Things You Didn’t Already Know

1) RB Darren McFadden’s goal entering every season is to screw over as many fantasy football players as possible.

2) After reading 50 Shades of Grey this off-season, offensive coordinator Greg Olson has vowed to make the offense “more saucy and edgy” in 2014. Not sure what that means, but consider us creeped out.

Random Object That Reminds Us Of This Team Without Any Context or Explanation: a corpse

Celebrity Fans: MC Hammer, Hammer, and Stanley Burrell

Best Case Scenario: 3-13

Worst Case Scenario: The fans revolt against this monstrosity of a roster and all rush the field at the same time prompting the earth to open up and swallow the entire coliseum and they all die.

Schnoz Prediction: 4-12

Why:  Wow, where do we start. Their offensive attack is pedestrian, their secondary is subpar, and have we mentioned they have the toughest schedule in the league! They’ve got to play the NFC West, the Patriots, and six games against superior talent in their own division. Oh, and they gave up a home game to play in London this year, so cheerio! On the bright side, if they can come out of this season with a solid starter in Carr, a defensive building block in Khalil Mack, and a #1 pick in the 2015 Draft, there may be some hope in Raider Country.

Alright everyone, chime in with your thoughts on the AFC West.

What do you agree with and where am I dead wrong?


AFC: East | North | South | West

NFC: East | North | South | West | The Playoffs