So even though I don't want to see the Raiders, Chargers, or Chiefs succeed, it was still a sweet Sunday to see all three win against East Coast teams. The AFC West had a redemptive Sunday in Week Two, making them tied for the best overall win record (6-2) in the NFL. The annual media darling NFC East? They're collectively 2-6.
The AFC West's 4-0 record in Week 2 was only the second time the division posted a 4-0 record in the past 8 seasons (Wk 2 2010).— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) September 17, 2013
Here's this week's AFC West Watch.
Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
The Kansas City Chiefs held on to win 17-16 against the Dallas Cowboys in Week Two behind an impressive defensive effort that survived a first quarter, 100-yard onslaught by Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant. Perhaps most impressive was the Chiefs' ability to hold on in the fourth quarter. The defense stiffened when it mattered, only allowing a Cowboys field goal with 3:50 left in the game to remain on top by one point, before the offense successfully ran a four-minute drill to end the game with the lead. These are the games the 2-14 Chiefs from a year ago found a way to lose; these are the games the 2-0 Chiefs from 2013 are finding a way to win.
Next game: At Philadelphia Eagles (1-1), Thursday Night Football, the Andy Reid Bowl.
Oakland Raiders (1-1)
Have you heard? The NFL's rushing leader is the Oakland Raiders. Have you heard? The NFL's sack leader is the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders beat the Jaguars 19-9 in Week Two, but the score doesn't really do the game justice: Oakland got ahead early and never relented. QB Terrelle Pryor stole the show in Week One, but Week Two belonged to a healthy Darren McFadden, who had 129 yards rushing to go with 28 yards receiving.
Next game: At Denver Broncos (2-0), Monday Night Football, the AFC West's first divisional game.
San Diego Chargers (1-1)
In Week One, the Chargers lost by a field goal in the game's final minute. In Week Two, they won in the same fashion. A brutal 33-30 slugfest with the Philadelphia Eagles saw the Chargers come out ahead behind three Eddie Royal (remember him?) touchdowns and a handful of mistakes by the Chip Kelly-coached Eagles offense.
Next game: At Tennessee Titans (1-1) Sunday.
|AFC West Team||W||L||T||Pct||PF||PA||Net Pts||TD||Home||Road||Div||Pct||Conf||Pct||Non-Conf||Streak||Last 5|
|Kansas City Chiefs||2||0||0||1.000||45||18||27||6||1-0||1-0||0-0||.000||1-0||1.000||1-0||2W||2-0|
|San Diego Chargers||1||1||0||.500||61||61||0||7||0-1||1-0||0-0||.000||0-1||.000||1-0||1W||1-1|
Why are the Chiefs listed first?
Realistically, it's ridiculously early to be talking about division tiebreakers. But it's fun to talk about anyway - and even a bit educational. So why are the 2-0 Chiefs ahead of the 2-0 Broncos when Denver clearly has the edge in net points in the table above?
Because the NFL is clearly biased. I sent out an email to the MHR staff seeking help understanding this ranking, and Brian Shrout best explained it.
The formula, in the eyes of the NFL, is very simple:
(1)Is one of the teams the Broncos?
(2)Yes -- rank the other team higher.
(3)No -- flip a coin.
Check out the HOF selection process if you don't believe me.
...okay, just kidding. The real reason the Chiefs are ahead of the Broncos is the seventh tiebreaker in NFL's divisional head-to-head tiebreaker scenario, which reads, "Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed." Say what?
The Broncos are first in the AFC in points scored. The Chiefs are first in the AFC in points allowed. The difference is the fact that the Chiefs offense is ranked fifth in points per game, while the Broncos are 13th defensively in points per game. Hence, the Chiefs have the higher ranking.
If the Broncos take care of business on Monday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders, they'll have the edge in the higher tiebreaker scenario: record within the division.
Either way, it's fun to talk about a division that is competitive through two weeks this season, especially as the division puts up a defiant gesture to those East Coast NFL teams, and the mainstream media members that love them.