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AFC West Roundup, Week 1: Raiders the lone winner

At least the Chiefs aren’t first place in the division right now

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The AFC West is off to an interesting start, especially considering that neither the Los Angeles Chargers nor the Kansas City Chiefs are in first place. And, based on QBR, the Las Vegas Raiders and then the Denver Broncos have the top two quarterbacks in the division.

Who would’ve thought?

AFC West Standings

Team W L T Div. Conf.
Team W L T Div. Conf.
Las Vegas Raiders 1 0 0 1-0 1-0
Kansas City Chiefs 0 1 0 0-0 0-0
Los Angeles Chargers 0 1 0 0-0 0-1
Denver Broncos 0 1 0 0-1 0-1

Las Vegas Raiders @ Denver Broncos

Final score: 17-16

Recap: This was a gritty, back-and-forth game where Denver was unable to get the Raiders offense off of the field, either due to Damarri Mathis getting beat or some sort of penalty. The Raiders would boast the most efficient offense in the league as they would either get a first down or a touchdown on 87% of their drives.

The good news is that the Broncos offense looked improved, even without their top receiver, Jerry Jeudy, and with Greg Dulcich missing the second half. Russell Wilson looked a bit like his prime self and the offensive line was able to hold up against the pass rush of Maxx Crosby, most of the time. The bad news is that they barely saw the field in the second half and played extremely conservatively; which would ultimately lead to their downfall. Also, a good kicker would help a lot.

Injury concerns: TE Greg Dulcich will miss about the next month with a hamstring injury and S Caden Sterns will miss the remainder of the season with a torn patellar tendon.

S Tre’von Moehrig suffered a thumb injury during the game. As of September 11th, WR Jakobi Meyers entered concussion protocol. DE Chandler Jones is still questionable.

Week 2 matchup: Washington Commanders @ Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders @ Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions @ Kansas City Chiefs

Final score: 21-20

Recap: The best game of the week, in my opinion, was seeing the defending Super Bowl champs flounder at home and get taken out by the knee-cap-biting, smashmouth Lions. It was apparent that the Chiefs are severely lacking at the receiver position and cannot function without a healthy Travis Kelce. Kadarius Toney managed to put up the worst score by a wide receiver, according to PFF, since 2018. He scored a 29.7.

The Detroit Lions, however, look like a legit threat in the NFC after this Thursday night win. Jared Goff looks as good, if not better, as he did in his 2018 campaign with the Rams when he put up almost 4,700 passing yards and 32 touchdowns. New rookie playmaker Jahmyr Gibbs was not utilized as much as most assumed he would, but he looked dang good when he was on the field.

Injury concerns: TE Travis Kelce is currently listed as questionable.

Week 2 matchup: Kansas City Chiefs @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins @ Los Angeles Chargers

Final score: 36-34

Recap: In the most exciting game of the week, and one that might be one of the best all year, Tua Tagovailoa out-dueled his NFL Draft classmate Justin Herbert. It was a bad day to be a defensive back on the Chargers as Tyreek Hill put defenders on skates and purely outran them, putting up 215 yards and two touchdowns in the process.

The game was a heavyweight slugfest that featured eight different lead changes, the final one coming in the final two minutes of the game when Hill received his 2nd touchdown of the game to put Miami up for good.

On a weird note that took place off the field, the Chargers crowd was filled with humanoid “AI robots” that were placed throughout the stands for a promotion. I know that the Chargers have had a hard time getting home team fans in the stands, but this is just sad.

Injury concerns: RB Austin Ekeler is dealing with an ankle injury. LB Chris Rumph II is listed as questionable and LB Daiyan Henely is listed as questionable.

Week 2 matchup: Los Angeles Chargers @ Tennessee Titans

Predictions for Week 2

While I thought that both the Chargers and the Chiefs would be taken out, I thought and hoped that the Broncos were going to finally be able to beat the Raiders. Obviously, they weren’t. So the predictions sit at 2-2 on the year (I’m counting the Broncos/ Raiders game as two separate predictions).

I’ll take the Jaguars to take out the Chiefs as I don’t think Kansas City can keep up with the Jags offensively. I think the Bills bounce back and take out the Raiders. The Chargers should be able to out-gun the Titans, and I see Pat Surtain II putting up another lights-out performance on Sunday, this time against Terry McLaurin, leading the Broncos to a win.

What do you think happens this week? Let us know in the comments!