Well, this week seemed as close to business as usual as possible. The Denver Broncos made a bad team look good, the Kansas City Chiefs got bailed out by some very questionable officiating, and the Las Vegas Raiders looked like the Raiders but still managed to win.
Let’s take a look at what happened in the AFC West this week.
AFC West Standings
|Kansas City Chiefs||8||4||0||3-1||6-1|
|Los Angeles Chargers||5||7||0||1-1||3-4|
|Las Vegas Raiders||5||7||0||1-2||3-5|
New York Jets @ Denver Broncos
Final score: 31-21
Recap: Nathaniel Hackett got his “revenge” against the Broncos this week, at least that would be the case if you want to believe the national media. In reality, all Hackett did was call run plays that ended up working only due to the Broncos’ ineptitude, and even Josey Jewell admitted that they were out of alignment with most plays. In the end, Hackett managed only to put up one touchdown which came on a 72-yard run. Besides that, his offense only managed to put up five field goals in five red zone appearances.
The real culprit of this game, besides the abysmal rushing defense by Denver that gave up 234 yards and 7.2 yards per carry, was the pathetic offensive showing they had in the 2nd half. They would have just 2 total yards in the latter half at one point, finishing the final two quarters with 125 total yards. The Broncos would go three-and-out four times and fumbled the ball twice, with one of the fumbles being run back for a 39-yard touchdown.
After a promising first quarter that featured two sacks by Nik Bonitto and a 22-yard touchdown by Jaleel McLaughlin, it was all downhill from there. Bring on the fire sale.
Injury concerns: DL D.J. Jones left the game in the 2nd quarter with a knee injury and did not return.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Minnesota Vikings
Final score: 27-20
Recap: Would you believe me if I told you that the Chiefs were aided by some poor calls by the refs that helped lead them to another victory? Because you should as the Chiefs win their 4th game of the season and the 3rd one to come from a one-score game.
The real controversy comes from two calls/ non-calls that came on a drive late in the 4th quarter with the Vikings attempting to tie the game. The first one was the refs picking up a flag on a play that they originally singled what was defensive pass interference against the Chiefs. They would then pick up the flag.
But arguably the worst non-call came when the refs told Chiefs’ L’Jarius Sneed to put his helmet back on rather than throw a flag on him after Sneed removed his helmet to argue a call.
When it comes to 15-yard penalties, Article 1, Section 3 of the National Football League rulebook clearly states that “Such actions specifically include...removal of his helmet by a player in the field of play...during a confrontation with a game official.” Instead of throwing the flag, the refs aid the Chiefs.
Another takeaway is that while the Chiefs are still looking great, especially with their defense playing better than it has in their recent seasons, their offense is still not performing up to expectations.
Their offense is currently averaging almost four fewer points per game and about 40 fewer yards per game compared to last season. Patrick Mahomes is also averaging about 51 fewer passing yards per game compared to last season. It’s bad news that they’re doing worse offensively but still look like a top team in the league.
Injury concerns: TE Travis Kelce left the game late in the 2nd quarter with an ankle injury but returned after halftime.
Week 6 matchup: Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
Green Bay Packers @ Las Vegas Raiders
Final score: 13-17
Recap: It sucked having to root for the Raiders (if you care about Denver having a higher draft pick), but luckily it was still fun seeing them flounder. While their former quarterback Derek Carr was lighting up the Patriots, current quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo returned from concussion protocol and was as bad as usual. He ended up throwing another interception (his 7th in four games) and is now on pace for nearly 30 on the year.
But it wasn’t too much better on the other sideline because Jordan Love is looking as rough around the edges as he did at Utah State. He threw three interceptions on Monday night, which brought his season total up to six. He would throw his final interception on what was their attempt at a game-winning drive. He threw the ball up into the end zone from the 35-yard line on a 3rd and 10 after consecutive drops by his receivers on 1st and 2nd down.
This was a difficult game to watch. You had to sit through eight punts, four turnovers, and two missed field goals (one was blocked). Luckily for the Raiders, their two missed field goals ended up not costing them the game. The best part was when Jimmy G. hit the final kneel-down to end the game and the audience’s suffering.
Injury concerns: No new injuries.
Week 6 predictions
My season record comes to 12-7 after five weeks of football. It’s too bad Jordan Love and the Denver run defense couldn’t make me right.
This week I’ll be taking the Chiefs over the Broncos, the Raiders over the Patriots, and the Chargers over the Cowboys. Drop your predictions in the comments!