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.
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.
There is a power struggle going on in the AFC West. Just looking at the standings, it would seem the Kansas City Chiefs have all the power. But that’s the problem with just looking at one statistic, it doesn’t give you a full picture.
Taking a look at Week 7 for the AFC West, there are chances for that power to shift. Maybe not fully, but slightly. Quietly. In a way that may affect the playoffs down the road. Let’s look at each of the games and how they could change the AFC West.
I’m not sure how it happened. Just like the rest of 2020, the first quarter of the season has flown by. It is hard to believe that we are already a quarter of the way through the 2020 season, and yet, it seems like it’s been forever since preseason was canceled.
While the NFL seemed to have a good handle on the COVID-19 protocols, and the season would go off without much of a hitch, this last week has proven that they aren’t completely out of the woods.
We have seen some fans in the stands, but most are still empty, which in turn has seemed to have spurred on a scoring frenzy in the games. The 2020 season so far has the highest average score of any season in history. No fans, no fan noise, no interference in offensive communications.
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 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.
Year after year after year, former Denver Bronco safety Steve Atwater has been denied recognition in the ProFootball Hall of Fame. After waiting 16 years, Atwater will finally be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2020.
It’s hard to believe it took this long for Atwater to be recognized for the tremendous player that he was in the NFL. It’s even more surprising that a free safety with such power and impact on a Super Bowl caliber team was denied for so long.