The Unexpected AFC West

AFC West
Sep 26, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) celebrates after a reception in the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Allegiant Stadium. The Raiders defeated the Dolphins 31-28 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

AFC West is surprising everyone, and only after three weeks. Teams that no one would think would be bad are now first in the division, and the team everyone believed would run away with the division is now in the last place. Let’s see what is happening in the AFC West and see if we can figure out how this is happening.

AFC West Standings

Las Vegas Raiders3-00-03-0
Denver Broncos3-00-02-0
Los Angeles Chargers2-11-01-0
Kansas City Chiefs1-20-11-2

Las Vegas Raiders (3-0)

The Raiders showed everyone in the nation that this year is going to be different by coming out and beating the Baltimore Ravens in overtime, 33 to 27. During week two, they had another dominating passing performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers and won 26 to 17. Week three showed that the Raiders are going to be a dominant team all season by winning another game in overtime against the Miami Dolphins and won 31 to 28. They are playing great so far, and being where they are surprising to all/ They are 3-0 for the first time since 2002.

Many things are adding up to the Raiders being great. One of the biggest things is that Derrek Carr has the most passing yards in the NFL so far. Herny Ruggs II has 237 receiving yards from the first three games. Another thing that is helping them is that their defense can hold the other teams to fewer yards than the offense. The one thing holding them back is that they do not have much rushing production. For now, they have a quarterback that is getting the yards and getting the team where they need them.

Their next game is Monday, 10/4, at the Los Angeles Chargers.

Denver Broncos (3-0)

The Broncos have had an easy schedule so far but have taken care of all three of their games. They played the New York Giants during week one and won 27 to 13. Week two, their defense had a dominant performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars, winning 23 to 13. Against the New York Jets week, three proved to be an easy game because they won 26 to 0. The Broncos have not been tested yet but does seem like their defense is good enough to stop any team.

Many good things came out of these three games. Teddy Bridgewater looks like he is going to be consistent the whole season. He already had 827 yards and only four touchdowns but has the yards and a good completion percentage. Their running game is also being consistent by having almost 100 rushing yards in all three games. we will have to see how things go for the Broncos when they have to play against better teams.

Their next game is Sunday, 10/3, against the Baltimore Ravens.

Los Angeles Chargers (2-1)

The Chargers have had close games all seasons and have been hurting themselves on many plays. In week one they played against the Washington Football Team and won 20 to 16. We then go into week two where they play the Dallas Cowboys and get their first loss of the season, losing 20 to 17. They then had a huge bounce-back game against the Kansas City Chiefs and won 30 to 24. The Broncos have three huge tests in a row which could define their season.

The Chargers have shown everyone that they may finally have found their new franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert. Herbert has thrown for 959 yards and has six touchdowns. Mike Williams and Keenan Allen are his two favorite receivers. Williams has 295 receiving yards, and Allen has 258 receiving yards. It makes it hard for teams to pick who to cover more. The things that are dragging them down are the turnovers that Herbert has and asl their defense. If they can figure that out, then the Chargers have a chance at beating every team in the league.

Their next game is Monday, 10/4, against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-2)

No one saw the Chiefs being 1 and 2 and being last in their division, but it looks like it is happening. Week one, which was their only win, they played against the Cleveland Browns and barely won, 33 to 28. They tried to bounce back during week three against the Baltimore Ravens but failed, losing 36 to 35. They fell short once again during week three against the Los Angeles Chargers, losing 30 to 24. It seems like teams are finally figuring out the Chief’s offense and making it hard for them to score.

The Chiefs just look lost this season, and there are some huge reasons for that. The biggest problem for them is their defense. They are last in the league in almost everything and are unable to stop the run. In addition, the Cheifs are not able to rely on their offense to outscore their opponents. The Chiefs have already turned the ball over five times, and Patrick Mahomes has three interceptions already. The Cheifs need to figure out their defense because their opponents know how to stop their offense.

Their next game is Sunday, 10/3, at the Philadelphia Eagles.

Final Thoughts

The AFC West has proven that it is a different division than last year. The Chiefs we are used to seeing are not there so far, and the teams we are not used to winning are winning. There are still many games to play but one team may run away with this division fast and early. The Chiefs need to figure a lot out otherwise they will be in for a rude awakening. The Raiders need to continue to play like they are to keep their hopes of winning the division there. The Chargers have to continue to create turnovers, so their offense has a shot to score. The Broncos just need to stay consistent, and it will fall into place. AFC West is still up for grabs and can definitely be won by someone other than the Chiefs.

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