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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.
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.
When your division has the current Super Bowl champions in it, you know it is time to step it up. The teams not named Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West are looking to do just that in the 2020 NFL Draft.
It looks like the main thought in the AFC West is if they can’t beat him, try to keep up. The “him” being the Chiefs offense. Going in heavy on offense proves that the Broncos, Chargers, and Raiders are showing it’s going to be all about scoring a lot of points in this division.
Let’s take a look at the new players headed to the AFC West.
As we begin the 2020 NFL season, a few questions have been answered in regards to several top quarterback spots that were up for grabs.
The first one being that of New England’s future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady. For the first time in his entire NFL career, Brady was about to be a free agent. But as we all knew, that didn’t last too long.
AFC East fans rejoiced because Brady, as expected, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians left no question that Tampa Bay would be a top contender in signing the six-time Super Bowl winner. This ended his two-decade stay with the Patriots.
The Los Angeles Chargers have had the same leader for 16 years. No, I’m not talking about the head coach, because we all know that there have been many changes in that area. I’m talking about quarterback Philip Rivers. With Rivers, 38, having an inconsistent and rough season, and the Chargers starting a new era in a new stadium in 2020, is it time for the team to see what they have in back up QB Tyrod Taylor?
There have been a bunch of articles this week regarding Rivers. Is week 17 his last game in a Chargers uniform? Will he continue to play? Rivers is a probable future Hall of Fame QB, and while no one should downplay that, we are coming up on a changing of the guard in the NFL. The star QBs of old, Rivers, Brees, Brady, Roethlisberger, etc, are aging, and with that, we are seeing a surge of new, young QBs taking their place.