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AFC West Roundup, Week 9: New coach, new attitude

The Raiders are 1-0 in the post-Josh McDaniels era

NFL: New York Giants at Las Vegas Raiders Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The new-look Raiders got a win this week, but it wasn’t against the best competition. The Chiefs bounced back from their loss to the Broncos by winning in Germany while only having to score two touchdowns. And the Chargers put on a defensive beat down on the Jets in New York on Monday night football.

Unfortunately for the Broncos, every AFC West team won this week. So Denver will have to wait at least another game until they make it out of the basement.

AFC West Standings

Team W L T Div. Conf.
Team W L T Div. Conf.
Kansas City Chiefs 8 4 0 3-1 6-1
Denver Broncos 6 6 0 1-2 3-5
Los Angeles Chargers 5 7 0 1-1 3-4
Las Vegas Raiders 5 7 0 1-2 3-5

Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs

Final: 14-21

Game recap: The Dolphins blow out the Broncos, the Broncos blow out the Chiefs, and then the Chiefs knock off the Dolphins. That makes sense.

For the most part, the European fans that were there in person witnessed a major letdown of a game. While the Chiefs did drive down the field and score a touchdown on the first possession of the game, that would be the most action the crowd would see until right near the end of the first half. There were seven punts in a row with the longest drive of either team being six plays over that span. The Chiefs would then put together a 95-yard touchdown drive that would leave 2:30 left on the clock. The last points Kansas City scored came off of a Miami fumble by Tyreek Hill that led to a defensive touchdown.

After being shut out in the first half, the Dolphins strung together an 80-yard touchdown drive on their second possession of the half. A Kansas City fumble on the following drive would give Miami great field position and they would run for another touchdown.

The game would come down to essentially the last play, but even with a wide-open Tyreek Hill, the Dolphins were unable to tie the game up because they fumbled the snap on fourth down. With that, the Dolphins still haven’t beat a team over .500 and the Broncos are still the only team to score more than 21 points against the Chiefs.

Injury concerns: No new injuries noted.

Week 10 matchup: Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs

New York Giants @ Las Vegas Raiders

Final: 6-30

Game recap: In their first game since firing one of the worst head coaches in the history of the league, the Raiders were able to grab a win at home over the Giants.

The Raiders would score a touchdown on three of their first five possessions. All of which came off of a run play. One was a designed run by WR Jakobi Meyers, and two of them were courtesy of Josh Jacobs from a two-yard and one-yard attempt.

This was most of the good news for the Raiders. They were able to put up points against a defense that ranks near the bottom of the league in points per game. And their rookie quarterback Aiden O’Connell played the best game of his career so far. He would finish the game with 209 passing yards on 25 attempts.

While this win does mark a possible sign of improvement by the team with their new head coach, it also is a little funny that they would be lighting up victory stogies after beating a 2-7 team led by Tommy DeVito. DeVito entered the game in the second quarter after Daniel Jones went down with what has since been confirmed to be a torn ACL.

Injury concerns: No new injuries noted.

Week 10 matchup: New York Jets vs Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers @ New York Jets

Final: 26-7

Game recap: Even though Justin Herbert didn’t do much on Monday, the Chargers were still able to pull off an easy win against the flailing Jets. They were aided by a massive defensive performance that featured eight sacks, three recovered fumbles and an 87-yard punt return touchdown at the beginning of the game. Because of that, all they needed to do was hand the ball off to Austin Ekeler for a couple of short touchdown runs that were one and two yard attempts. The average yards of their scoring drives was just 35 yards.

While the Chargers did look good defensively, it also helped that they were going up against an offense led by Nathaniel Hackett. Broncos fans and Russell Wilson continue to be vindicated. All last year we tried to tell the world that it was Hackett’s fault, and it all wasn’t just on Russell Wilson. This year Wilson has been much better and the Jets’ offensive is currently averaging the least yards on opening drives with just a mere 6.6 yards. For reference, the Broncos sit at third on this list with 55.8 yards. How tragic.

Injury concerns: No new injuries noted.

Week 10 matchup: Detroit Lions @ Los Angeles Chargers

Week 10 predictions

Unfortunately, the Giants and the Dolphins let me and the rest of us down this week. My season record now sits at 19-14.

This week I’ll be taking the Bills over the Broncos (good chance I’m wrong), the Lions over the Chargers, the Eagles over the Chiefs, and the Raiders over the Jets. Drop your predictions in the comments!