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The defensive player of the year has a good shot to come out of the AFC West

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The 2017 NFL preview from SB Nation has been released! You can see the Chiefs section here where I say the Chiefs are like a good pork butt — you usually know what you’re getting with a good pork butt that’s cooked slow and steady by Big Red.

One section of the preview includes a bunch of NFL predictions. The one that caught my eye was the “Hoss of the year” award, which is given out by former NFL player Stephen White to the best defensive player. Note where these three pass rushers play:

Von Miller. The Broncos are going to need everything they can get out of him to contend this season, and he’s going to bring it.

Khalil Mack. He’s been consistently dominant since he came into the league, and this year should be no different.

Joey Bosa. We saw how special Bosa can be when he posted double-digit sacks in only 12 games as a rookie. If he stays healthy in his second season, he’s going to be a problem.

That’s more than a third of the Chiefs schedule right here, the Broncos, Raiders and Chargers in the AFC West. Yikes. The Chiefs improving offensive line is, uh, pretty important.

The pass rusher in the division not mentioned here is the one from the Chiefs - Justin Houston. We’ve said all year long that Justin Houston is the key to the Chiefs defense this year. If he is elite, the Chiefs defense can be elite. If he’s not, the Chiefs defense may be merely pretty good.

I tend to believe the Chiefs need an elite Houston to make a legitimate playoff run. We’ll find out where he’s at in one week.