“Living in the Wild Wild West. The Wild Wild NFC West!” Ok, that may not be the exact lyrics to the 1988 Escape Club hit (Oh yeah, I went there) but it fits this season’s NFC West quite perfectly.
The NFC West has gotten rave reviews through the first two weeks of the season and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon. MVP level play from Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Insane defense from Aaron Donald and the rest of the Los Angeles Rams. Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray making that huge 2nd-year leap. And San Francisco doing what they often do…defying the odds in spite of mounting injuries.
We all knew there was a chance we would lose players early in the season. Most of us just thought it would be due to COVID-19, but it looks like we picked the wrong culprit.
There is only one phrase that can describe Week 2 in the NFL. Season altering injuries. In all of my years covering the NFL, I’ve never seen a week like Week 2. Injury after injury, all day long. Injuries that will undoubtedly change the course of the season for many teams.
Questions have arisen about the shortened offseason training programs. Others about the lack of preseason games. Everyone is looking for a reason that in one week the NFL lost so many stars. Whatever that reason may be, it won’t help get the players back. Let’s take a look at the carnage that was Week 2.
It was a successful first week for the AFC West. Three of the four teams came out winners. The Denver Broncos lost to the Tennessee Titans in the last seconds of the game. The Kansas City Chiefs opened the season with a Thursday night win. The Los Angeles Chargers squeaking out a win in a low scoring affair against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Las Vegas Raiders get their first win for their new city.
While a couple of the games were close, they all showed new schemes. Looking at week 2, can we expect even more changes? Let’s take a look at each matchup, including a divisional game that could get interesting.
I’ve written before how the NFC West is considered one of, if not the most competitive divisions in football. The first week of the 2020 season should highlight why so many see it that way.
A divisional matchup, a game against an NFC favorite, and a mentor/mentee coaching battle, early games, late games, primetime games…Week 1 has a lot going on for all four teams. And in this division, one that could be decided by a very small margin, every game counts. Let’s take a look around Week 1 in the NFC West.
Most agree this is the toughest division in football. It has produced the NFC Champion 4 out of the last 7 seasons, and many think that with the expanded playoffs, the NFC West could end up with three teams in the postseason.
Going into the 2020 season, this is also one of the hardest divisions to predict. You have the growth of a second-year QB and massive offseason additions in Arizona. There are the questions surrounding a Super Bowl hangover, and a growing list of injuries in San Francisco.
The Los Angeles Rams dropped off in 2019 after their Super Bowl loss, but are looking to rebound strong. And then there is the Seattle Seahawks with their elite QB and break out wide receiver, but that defense was seriously questionable.
What can we expect from all of this? Let’s take a look.
I have to admit, this is hard. I’ve been writing these previews for almost 10 years and without question, this is had some serious challenges. No preseason games, very little information coming out of camp, and limited media coverage has made 2020…difficult. BUT! Onward we go with my 2020 AFC West preview.
There is little question that the AFC West is a strong division. The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, defeating a very talented San Francisco 49’ers team. The Denver Broncos added fantastic talent and look to hone the skills of their young quarterback. The Las Vegas Raiders made the move to their new city and added a challenger to their QB room, and the Las Vegas Chargers got a new home, cut the face of their franchise, and are looking forward.
In this edition of the OTFB Fan Forum, I decided to have everyone take a look at this odd offseason. The all-virtual, Zoom edition of an offseason.
Since free agents weren’t allowed into any facilities, it made signing them more difficult for teams. Rookies weren’t allowed anywhere near the rest of the team until training camp. It was a little weird. I was curious about how our forum members thought their team faired. Did they improve? Get worse by losing important pieces? Did they make any moves at all?
Or, seeing as the circumstances were, well… unusual, did they just hang on?
If there was ever a person who was considered the historian of the NFL, it was Steve Sabol.
Along with his father Ed, Steve started what would become NFL Films back in 1962 when his father got the rights to the 1962 NFC Championship. From there, these men cataloged all the important and meaningful moments of the NFL, and we as fans could not be more grateful.
From NFL Football Follies (my personal favorite) to the Hard Knocks series, NFL Films has become one of the most popular components of the game. But its not just revered by fans. Sabol has been hailed as one of the most important television entrepreneurs of all time. He was honored in 2003 with the Lifetime Achievement Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for “revolutionizing the way America watches football and setting the standard in sports film making.”