What Do You See in AFC-West”
So we are two weeks into the NFL season and the AFC-West seems to be in a state of chaos in 3-of the 4-cities in the division.
CHARGERS…..Another week, another key player gone, with S-Adrian Phillips headed to the IR list with a broken forearm. You just cannot survive losing a quality player per week. They are running out of players on defense, down two safeties, with 2-injured cornerbacks, and 2-linebackers cannot stay healthy on the field. This week’s crisis now swirls around CFL-kicker Ty Long, who missed two field goals in Detroit, that definitely was a difference maker. The team seems committed to staying with young LT-Trent Scott, by helping him with tight ends on that side of the line of scrimmage. Impressed with RB-Aaron Keeler’s heart and his grit and his athletic ability but you wonder about wear and tear piling up on him as the Melvin Gordon holdout goes on and on. Sadly the loss of TE-Aaron Henry further reduces the weapons that QB-Philip Rivers has to use. I don’t think they targeted WR-Mike Williams enough as he wound up with 3-pretty impressive catches. Keenan Allen was targeted 15-times and caught 8-balls. Fatigue and defenses are about to set in, and it will get tougher going forward if other guys don’t start to contribute more. Houston brings a challenge to the defense this coming weekend, and of course they also bring JJ Watt and a fierce pass rush to Carson.
CHIEFS….Patrick Mahomes just keeps piling up big plays,even without WR-Tyreek Hill, out 4-more weeks with a shoulder joint injury. The 4-TD explosion in a 10-minute span in Oakland was stunning. KC then coasted the rest of the way while the Raiders struggled against a veteran defense. Unless the Chiefs lose some skill people on offense, they will continue to roll towards a spectacular statistical season. The defense is different from a year ago, and Mahomes is so dynamic, it feels and looks like they are unstoppable.
BRONCOS….Yes they have Joe Flacco, but there seems to be nothing else to rally around or excite you about the offense. Denver has very young wide receivers trying to find consistency. 1st round draft pick Noah Fant has not contributed as we thought he would coming off his first round draft pick. The offensive line seems in disarray, and young 1st round left tackle Grant Bolles has 5-holding penalties in 2-games. Yes Von Miller is still there but the defense doesn’t seem to fit together. Vic Fangio expected to come out of the gate quick but the gate is blocked.
RAIDERS…..Derek Carr cannot do this by himself. First Antonio Brown betrays them. Then as they try to rally the roster, they lost their first round draft pick, S-Jon Abram, with a torn labrum. To boot, Abram was fined 28,000- for a helmet hit on the play that injured his shoulder. That leaves a young defense with a guy they thought might be their playmaker on that side of the ball. Jon Gruden doesn’t have either of his two starting offensive guards with injuries. His young LT-Kolten Miller is still learning on the job too.
And Carr and Gruen still have 14-weeks left in the season. This might be a longer season than anyone expected.
Here comes Weekend 3-for the best and worst in the AFC-West.