Around the AFC West: Everyone in the division is still chasing the Chiefs

Sep 22, 2022, 6:33 AM
Patrick Mahomes Bradley Chubb...
(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos finally got into the win column, and now sit with a 1-1 record after two games. It’s early in the season, but the Broncos need to be mindful of their position in the AFC West. They’re currently tied for second place, but they’ve got a tougher-than-expected game (thanks, Jimmy Garoppolo) against the San Francisco 49ers coming up in Week 3.

The AFC West doesn’t look as strong as everyone thought it would be. The teams who are looking down could quickly turn things around the rest of this seaosn. The talent we all thought was there in this division still is present, and once the teams get it together the AFC West could turn into the bloodbath we projected it would be.

Let’s take a spin around the AFC West to see what the competition is up to.


Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are rolling to begin the 2022 season. They sit atop the AFC West with a 2-0 record, and there are no signs of slowing down. Many were concerned before this offseason how the team would look on offense with superstar WR Tyreek Hill traded to the Miami Dolphins. I believe after two games we have our answer; they’re going to be fine.

There are two news items this week worth keeping track of for the Chiefs. First, linebacker Willie Gay received a four-game suspension on Monday for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Through two games, Gay has totaled 16 tackles on 111 defensive snaps.

Second, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (ankle) missed Week 2 with the left ankle sprain he suffered in the season opener, and head coach Andy Reid told reporters on Monday that the team will “see how it goes this week” before activating him for Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts. Practice squad kicker Matt Amendola is there to start in Week 3 if need be.


Las Vegas Raiders

Things aren’t off to a great start for the Raiders under new head coach Josh McDaniels. They currently sit at the bottom of the AFC West at 0-2, and things might not get any better this week on the road against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans are a well-coached team coming off an embarrassing loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 2. They’ll lick their wounds, regroup, and put up a fight at home against the winless Raiders.

This week, the Raiders did add to their troublesome offensive line. On Wednesday, the Raiders acquired guard Justin Herron and a 2024 seventh-round pick in a trade with the New England Patriots for a 2024 sixth-round pick. McDaniels knows Herron well from their days together with the Patriots, so it was easy for him to get this deal done with his former team. Herron joins a Vegas offensive line graded by Pro Football Focus as the NFL’s 15th best pass blocking unit and eighth worst run blocking unit.


Los Angeles Chargers

The more things change, the more they stay the same with the choking Chargers. Last Thursday, the Chargers choked the game away to the Chiefs with a pick-six to end the contest. They now sit with a 1-1 record, but what’s worse is the injury sustained by superstar quarterback Justin Herbert. The Chargers have a good offense, but losing Herbert would likely crush any plans they have of making a postseason run in 2022.

On Wednesday, we got an update on the young quarterback’s status. Herbert has been diagnosed with a fracture in his rib cartilage and is considered day-to-day, according to head coach Brandon Staley. The Chargers should have Herbert available this week as they’re at home to play the not-so-hapless Jaguars in Week 3.



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Around the AFC West: Everyone in the division is still chasing the Chiefs