Before the season began, everyone and I mean everyone, had the Kansas City Chiefs running away with the AFC West, and possibly the Super Bowl. Six games in, things have changed and the door to the top spot in the division seems to have opened.
Injuries happen, and there is no question that the Chiefs are suffering from them. Superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes injured his ankle early in the season and has reaggravated it, in some way, in almost every game since.
There has been a noticable difference in his play, mostly in his ability to leave the pocket to escape pressure brought by the defense. His signature move, those long, beautiful passes, has also been more difficult to complete since he can’t always plant his foot. What this equals to is the once unstoppable offense has become, well…easier to stop.
The AFC West proved surprising in week 5, with one divisional matchup, a London game, and a Sunday Night Football showcase. At the end of the week, Kansas City is still holding the top spot with room to spare, but they showed some vulnerability, and now there is a battle for position in the rest of the division.
The Oakland Raiders beat the Chicago Bears in London, 24-21, in what was a surprise of a game for many. While we knew the Raiders had a solid team, they are beginning to look more and more like a very good team.
The winless Broncos headed to Los Angeles to play the Chargers and came out with a win, 20-13.
The Kansas City Chiefs played the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night, which many perceived to be a cakewalk for the undefeated team, but it turned out to be a fantastic battle with the Colts winning 19-13.
While we know that the Kansas City Chiefs are exactly who we all thought they would be this year, it’s fair to say the rest of the division is a bit of a question mark. Many had the Chargers keeping pace with the Chiefs, which they still may, and the Raiders possibly competing too.
My fellow Our Turf writers and I have often commented that you don’t really know who a team is until week 4 through 6 on the season. For the AFC West, week 4 could bring a lot of clarity for fans, and give them an idea of who their team will be this year.
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!
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?
Week two of the NFL Preseason has gone and plenty of questions have been left unanswered for the teams in the AFC North.
All four teams (Ravens, Bengals, Browns and Steelers) seem to have locked on to their starting quarterback. It’s going to be the position battles that most intrigue fans during training camp and the preseason. At last wide receiver Antonio Brown and his helmet issues are no longer a problem in this division! Good luck with that, Oakland!
But there were two really heartbreaking losses this week in the death’s of former Bengals running back Cedric Benson and Steelers wide receivers coach Darryl Drake.
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.
We all understand that preseason games are rarely an indicator for a season’s success or failure. For half of the AFC West, they really hope that statement holds true. While Kansas City looked as dominant as many expected, no one expected the Raiders to roll over the Rams.
Of course, most teams were without their starters, and it was obvious that coaches were holding back as they should, but let’s not let that stop us from going over a few talking points about those first games.