It was an up and down day for the AFC West. All four teams had very tough opponents, a lot on the line, and it showed in the games.
The Kansas City Chiefs were the only undefeated team in the AFC West, the Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders had split the first two games, and the Denver Broncos were still looking for their first win of the 2019 season.
What would week 3 bring for the AFC West? Well, it was a rollercoaster for sure. One with expected losses, expected wins, and two games that were fantastic down to the last minute!
There are 9 teams in the NFL that are 2-0 going into week 3 of the 2019 season, with 5 being in the NFC, and 3 of them are in the NFC West. No other division can make that claim so that makes one wonder, will the NFC West be the best division in the league in 2019?
Yes, its only 2 weeks in. Yes, one could say that the NFC has had an easy start to their schedule. However, neither of these questions takes away from the fact that the NFC West is winning and sometimes winning big.
When people discussed the NFCW during the preseason, there were lots of questions. Could the Los Angeles Rams come back from their Super Bowl loss and be just as dominant? Will Seattle’s defense recover from losing the Legion of Boom and will quarterback Russell Wilson start throwing the ball more? Could the San Francisco 49ers be a contender with a healthy QB and team? Could a new head coach and rookie QB be the spark Arizona needed to save their team?
The answer to all of these questions, so far, has been a resounding yes.
It’s the first Monday Night Football of the 2019 season, it will be a doozy of a doubleheader, and not just because of the play on the field.
One team starts their quest to revenge what they see as a stolen NFC Championship, and two teams that had some offseason drama. And then there are the Broncos, who are just trying to right the ship. Add to this what will hopefully be great games on the field, and we should have a fantastic kick-off to Monday Night Football.
Houston Texans vs New Orleans Saints 7:10p ET
I’m sure when the powers that be scheduled this matchup, they saw a team that felt cheated out of a possible Super Bowl, the Saints, and a team with a young, talented quarterback and a stout defense going head to head. And we could still get that game, but a few things have changed.
The NFC West is known as one of the best divisions in football, but, on occasion, can have a slow start to a season. While some of the teams seem to have gotten a good draw for week 1 of 2019, you can never count out an underdog.
I asked the fans who they thought would win each of the NFC West games this week, and the results aren’t really a surprise.
LA Rams vs Carolina Panthers Sunday, 1p ET
The injury report for the Los Angeles Rams is exactly how head coach Sean McVey drew it up during the preseason. No Injuries Listed. By sitting his starters all preseason, McVey made it clear he wasn’t taking any chances for week 1, and it worked. Carolina, on the other hand, has 2 on their injury report, defensive end Bruce Irvin and tackle Greg Little, both listed as out.
Fans don’t seem to think the Rams will have the same “shaking off the rust” issues that the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers did in Thursday night’s opener.
You are going to see a lot of articles over the next few days about the impact Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will make on his new team. You’ll also see a lot of talk about players fighting for what they want. All are worthy subjects and I look forward to reading about it. But I’m here today to talk about something else.
Seattle Seahawks General Manager John Schneider might be a magician. A wizard even. It may be the only explanation for what he has managed to pull off in his career.
Now I’m not downplaying the role head coach Pete Carroll has had in all of this because we all know Carroll is essential to it all, but man… give Schneider a wand and a Hogwarts letter because he’s a master.
Its been often said that week 3 of the NFL preseason is the dress rehearsal for the season. As I mentioned in my NFC West injury report, Rams head coach Sean McVay has turned that theory on its head but sitting his starters, and a few other teams are following suit. This gives some unknowns extra time to shine, and increase their chances of making the team.
In the AFC West, we all know the major superstars that are starters, but who are the new guys? Who is making a strong case for themselves?
Editors Note: OurTurf Football has had a great, long-time friendship with Russell Baxter and we were honored when he asked a few of our writers to do team season previews for his website, PFG Vibe/ProFootballGuru. OTFB’s Dayna O’Gorman wrote up her thoughts on the upcoming season for the Seattle Seahawks. The article was originally published on Aug 23, 2019, and can be seen here.
In 2018 the Seattle Seahawks were supposed to be “rebuilding”. The famed Legion of Boom was gone. The offense hadn’t been the same since Marshawn Lynch left. It was supposed to be an off-year and expectations were low. Instead, the team went 10-6 and made the playoffs. In 2019 they have the highest-paid player in the league and a slew of young, hungry players who are itching to make their mark. While fans and media expectations still may not be sky high, the team believes they are right where they need to be to make another run.
“Just don’t let anyone get hurt”. That is the motto of most fans during the preseason. Unfortunately, injuries do happen, and they can make a huge impact on a season. This year, many teams have tried to minimize season impacting injuries by having their starters sit, but that doesn’t always work. Now that preseason is halfway over, let’s take a look at where the NFC West stands with injuries.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams have completely changed the structure of preseason football. They have sat all offensive starters for every game and have no intention of playing them in the preseason. The formula has worked well for Los Angeles, but it isn’t perfect.
One of the nice things about covering both the AFC and NFC West teams is in the preseason is they usually play each other. It makes it easy to do a weekly preseason round up, but it also makes for a very long article. Stick with me, people.
Week 2 of the preseason gave most fans a good look at their backups. And yes there were lots of mistakes, but…its preseason. Let’s take a look at the games played so far.
Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated to the NFL on a conditional basis. Many thought his last suspension would be permanent, but Commisioner Roger Goodell released the following statement today, stating they were giving him another chance to turn his troubled career around.
“Commissioner ROGER GOODELL notified JOSH GORDON of the New England Patriots that he will be reinstated to the NFL on a conditional basis.
Effective Sunday, Gordon may rejoin the Patriots to attend meetings and engage in conditioning work and individual workouts.
Subject to appropriate progress on clinical care and other arrangements, he will be permitted to participate in team activities including practice. Because he will not have had sufficient conditioning and practice time, however, he may attend but may not play in the Patriots’ Thursday, August 22 game.
“We are all rooting for Josh to succeed, both personally and professionally,” said Goodell. “Everyone shares in that hope and will continue to support him to every extent possible. But as Josh acknowledged, ultimately his success is up to him.”
Gordon had been suspended indefinitely since December of 2018 for violations of the NFL-NFLPA Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. “