Photo: Melina Vastola USA TODAY
When week one of the NFL season completed early Tuesday morning in some parts of the country, the four AFC West teams had an opportunity to go 4-0. However, that didn’t happen as only two division members came out victorious, the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs.
If you made any week one prognostications in regards to the games played within the AFC West games, I bet you could have easily gone 4-0 like yours truly. There were no surprises in the division but there were some interesting developments.
Denver Broncos (1-0) - After their 49-27 drubbing over the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night, many NFL pundits believed the Broncos could challenge the 1972 Miami Dolphins perfect season.
But before anyone jumps on that bandwagon, the Broncos won’t get anywhere near that perfect mark if they can’t run the ball in November and December. In fact, they might have the most woeful rushing attack within the division.
So much so Broncos Quarterback, Peyton Manning, might have to throw the ball 50 times a game to keep the lopsided victories pouring into the win column. Don’t get me wrong this Denver team is the class of the division but one game doesn’t make them rock stars.
They’re certainly one of the five best teams in the NFL right now. Manning is showing a drive and resiliency that leads me to believe, if he stays healthy, he may shatter every regular season touchdown record in the books.
Next Up: @ New York Giants (0-1)
Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) - It wasn’t a shocker the Chiefs defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in lopsided fashion 28-2. What was surprising however was the way KC’s defense suffocated the Jags offense with general ease.
Before we get to giddy about KC’s defense, their task gets a bit harder with three straight games against the NFC East. Still it doesn’t mean the Chiefs can’t shut down their upcoming NFC opponents. It just means it’s unlikely they’ll pitch any shutouts in this stretch.
Even though many of Tuesday’s power rankings trumped the same thing in regards to the Chiefs weak opening day combatants; this was an important win for this rebuilding franchise. Further they new if the wanted to keep pace with Denver, they had to win a game they were favored to do so.
Next Up: vs. Dallas Cowboys (1-0)
3. Oakland Raiders (0-1) - I put them third only because I thought they had the best chance this past weekend for an upset within the division. It’s never easy to open on the road and the Raiders nearly defeated the Indianapolis Colts.
In the end, they fell to the Colts by a score of 21-17. But they held the lead until a late Indy rally in the fourth quarter sealed the Raiders first defeat of the season.
So what did we learn about the 2013 Raiders in this game? Well they might not be as bad as advertised. Quarterback, Terrell Pryor, didn’t look awful but he definitely left some opportunities on the field. However, I’m not going to fault him too much. He’s still a very young player who has had little NFL coaching to date.
Defensively the Raiders are going to be relatively solid. They deserve some credit for holding the high scoring Colts offense to just 21 points.
Before there solid opening day effort, I thought the Raiders might become the bottom feeders in the AFC West. As it stands now, I’m thinking that might not be the case.
Next Up: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
4. San Diego Chargers (0-1) - After leading by 21 points midway through the third quarter, the Chargers continued their recent trend of blowing big leads late in games. With a wild and furious second half comeback, the Houston Texans defeated San Diego by a score of 31-28.
In two plus quarters, Chargers Quarterback, Phillip Rivers, was lights out. But in crunch time, he couldn’t punch the ticket. Now part of that wasn’t his fault. New Head Coach, Mike McCoy, didn’t help the cause by switching his passing attack to that of a running attack when his team had a fourteen-point lead late in the third quarter.
To that point of the game, the Texans defensive secondary had no answers for Rivers pin point passing. So why make the change? It happens all the time. Some head coaches think conservative is better. And with a double-digit lead in the NFL, that generally results in a loss.
Next Up: @ Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Can the Chiefs play ball with the Broncos all season long?
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