It isn’t too often I can write about both divisions I cover in just one article but after the first week in the 2021 NFL season, the AFC West and the NFC West divisions have one pretty impressive thing in common. Every team in both divisions won their first games. That makes me able to say, without question, the West is currently Best in the NFL.
Yeah yeah, it’s just the first week. And yeah yeah, none of them played a divisional opponent. But it wasn’t just the fact they won their games, but how they won them that made it impressive.
The Denver Broncos ended up dead last in their division last season with a 5 – 11 record, ending the season with three consecutive losses.
We know all about the quarterback issues that have plagued them since Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning left the team. And then there were the injuries that devastated the team last season, causing them to lose their future Hall of Fame linebacker and team leader, Von Miller, for the season.
All of these things equaled a horrible, no-good season in 2020 for the Broncos.
Are the issues from their last season making us overlook them this year? Are we forgetting the dynamic, young players they have added to the team? Now, I’m not saying they are Super Bowl contenders or anything… (here comes the but)
With the Pro Football Hall of Fame game and induction ceremonies over, we are just days away from week one of the 2021 NFL preseason. For what has seemed like an eternity, we have been waiting to get our eyes on new players, new coaches, and new schemes. Soon, that day will arrive.
Now for some teams, not much will change. Like both Super Bowl teams from last season, a few teams kept the majority of their players and all of their coaching staff. But the majority of teams have had some pretty big changes. Changes that could turn the fate of an entire franchise.
Now, we all know that preseason games aren’t real games. They are glorified practices that help the team decide who makes the final roster. But they also offer opportunities. Opportunities for unknown players to become know. For players far down the depth chart to move up. Opportunities for fans to find new fan favorites.
There is seriously tough competition in the AFC West. It is home to the AFC Champion from the last two seasons.
In a division that has one of, if not the, strongest teams in the league, how did the other 3 franchises look to add to their rosters in order to compete with the Patrick Mahomes/Andy Reid machine in Kansas City? Pretty well according to many in the business.
Let’s take a look at each team in the division and their draft picks.
Las Vegas Raiders
With the Raiders splitting the season at 8-8 last season, they knew they didn’t need a complete overhaul in order to get better. However, the grades given to this year’s Raiders draft were mostly B’s and C’s, with one D coming in from Vinny Iver from Sporting News.
For two weeks we heard nothing but Mahomes vs Brady. New kid vs GOAT. New legacies vs old legacies. But what we soon discovered, and were not all that surprised by, is that it was more than just the quarterbacks who made an impact on the field. In the crazy world of Super Bowl mania, no matter how the media spins it, it’s still a team sport.
It’s not like I don’t understand the reason for the hype. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is, almost without question, the greatest QB to play the game versus Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the fantastically talented, young superstar of the league. A possible changing of the guard right before our eyes.
With the conclusion of the AFC Championship Game, we now know who will play in Super Bowl LV: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NFC) and the Kansas City Chiefs (AFC).
As the defending champion, it shouldn’t have surprised me that the Chiefs moved on again, and yet, it very much did. The Buffalo Bills are a young, up-and-coming team that, frankly, may have been the biggest winner in the “Tom Brady leaves the AFC East” game.
Let’s take a look back at how the Chiefs defeated the Bills to punch their ticket to the Big Game and a chance for a repeat championship…
Last weekend brought a little heartbreak to Cleveland and a huge sigh of relief to Kansas City!
The Chiefs were able to hold off the up-and-coming Browns to win their AFC Divisional Round match-up. Next up, the AFC Championship game, hosting the Buffalo Bills this Sunday at 6:40pm EST.
If the Chiefs can win this weekend then they’ll head back to the Super Bowl and a chance to repeat their success from last year. But the victory over the Browns came at a cost. Will quarterback Patrick Mahomes be healthy and ready to play this week?
The 2020 NFL season is winding down and every game is starting to have a massive impact on the playoffs. Teams are locking in their seeding, while others are fighting just to get in. For the AFC West, it is all wrapped up. The Kansas City Chiefs have the top seed, while the other teams are all out. But in the NFC West, there is still some wiggle room surrounding the playoffs.
The Chiefs, once again, dominated their division. While their only loss so far this year was in division, to the Las Vegas Raiders, they were never really in danger of not winning the division. Kansas City wrapped up the AFC West title last week, and this week did the same for the number 1 seed in the entire AFC. They will have a bye week to start the playoffs, and home-field advantage throughout.
The Chiefs are going to be dominant in this league for years.
Editors Note: Thank you all for being so patient while we got our website up and running again. It has become obvious to us that we need to do a major overhaul of the site during the offseason, so please continue to stick with us while we finish out the season. Thank you from all of us at OTFB.
A blowout that no one expected, and a blowout that should have been but wasn’t. The wonder kid quarterback that can’t win, and the team without any quarterbacks at all. All of this sums up a very odd week in the AFC West. A week that was basically the definition of 2020.
2 points. 7 points. 5 points. That was how close all the games for the AFC West were this weekend. The Week 9 matchups were stressful nailbiters for all 4 teams. At the end of it all, the standings pretty much stayed the same but proved this division could get fun down the road.
Carolina Panthers 31
Kansas City Chiefs 33
The Kansas City Chiefs held on for a 2 point win over the Carolina Panthers in an early game on Sunday, but it wasn’t an easy win in any way. The Panthers came into this game ready to fight. They had nothing to lose. They also had their superstar running back, Christian McCaffrey, back from injury. The entire team started off hot and kept the pressure on the Chiefs the entire game.