After countless grueling weeks without football, the first NFL Sunday has already come and gone. For those not counting, this leaves the fans 16 more Sundays with regular season NFL football. Three teams who have made the most of this fraction of the season are the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, and the Denver Broncos. The AFC West rivals stand in the way of the Oakland Raiders.
Simply put, the Chiefs are good. The Chiefs came into the Chargers’ house and ran them out of town. While Kansas City beating a team by double digits (38-28) is not much of a surprise, many believed the Chargers to win the AFC West. Not only did Patrick Mahomes throw for 250 yards and four touchdowns, he also proved himself to those (like me) who originally doubted his abilities. Tyreek Hill lived up to his twitter name (@Cheetah) and not only ran a punt 90+ yards for a touchdown but also had 82 more yards than the rest of his fellow receiving corps combined. While the Chiefs did emerge victorious, the Chargers must keep how they played for most of this game in mind (and fix the rest) when they storm Arrowhead Stadium December 13th.
Every game, which does not end in a tie, has a winner and a loser. The loser might have played quite well but simply ended up with the short end of the stick. In the Chargers’ case, that is exactly what happened. The Chargers did not play poorly offensively. Philip Rivers led four wide receivers to 80+ yard games (Allen, Gordon, Ekeler, and M. Williams). He also threw for 424 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. The Chargers did show the league, that to beat Kansas City, teams must continue to score.
One team that did not play flawlessly by any means was the Denver Broncos. Despite winning the game, the Broncos could have used a little more help from their quarterback. Case Keenum threw three interceptions and Seattle was able to lead touchdown-scoring drives from two of the interceptions. However, the Broncos’ defense came to the rescue, totaling six sacks and two interceptions. The Broncos’ main strength remaining their defense is no surprise but, if Case Keenum can take control of his accuracy/interception issues, the Broncos will soon find their offensive prowess matching that of their defense.
Due to the Chiefs/Chargers matchup, the best record these AFC West teams could roll into Monday with was 2-1. The Chiefs beat the Chargers by 10. Also, the Broncos defeated a tough Seattle team. However, they missed covering the spread by .5. The biggest takeaway from this day of games is that at any given time, any of the AFC West teams can be the best team in said division. The road to the playoffs from the AFC West will be a bumpy one for all involved.