BRONCOS

Around the AFC West: Is a coaching change coming for the Chargers?

Dec 8, 2022, 6:35 AM
Brandon Staley...
(Photo by Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos are still terrible, and they still have a terrible head coach in Nathaniel Hackett calling the shots. Propping him up at press conferences multiple times per week has become embarrassing. It’s like the old movie “Weekend at Bernies,” but with a football coach who may never get a chance to be a head coach again.

This week, the Broncos are back at home to play in one of the toughest teams in all of football – Kansas City. The Chiefs are coming off a grueling loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13 and, just like everyone else, they’ll see the Broncos as their “get right” game.

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

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Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are one of the most dangerous teams in the league. While they’re running roughshod over the AFC West, they seem to have a problem beating the Bengals. Those two teams seem destined for another playoff showdown, perhaps in the AFC Championship Game again like they did last year.

The loss to the Bengals on Sunday was a costly one for the Chiefs. Now, their 9-3 record ties the Buffalo Bills for the best in the conference. However, an earlier loss to the Bills gives them the tiebreaker over the Chiefs. The Bills could win the rest of their games in the regular season, even though they lost LB Von Miller for the season due to a knee injury. There is no room for error with the Chiefs if they want to get the no.1 seed (and a first-round bye) back in their possession.

They may get a playmaker back at the wide receiver position this week. Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney (hamstring) is expected to return to practice on Wednesday, Dec. 7, head coach Andy Reid said. Toney was acquired from the New York Giants via trade earlier this year, but he’s barely played for the Chiefs with this bothersome hamstring injury. He hasn’t played since Week 11, and Toney only has six receptions on nine targets with the Chiefs. If he can get healthy (and stay healthy), Toney gives the Chiefs yet another dangerous weapon to make yet another Super Bowl run with.

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Las Vegas Raiders

Are the Raiders finally “getting it” under head coach Josh McDaniels? That certainly seems to be the case as the Raiders are rolling on offense over the last few weeks. Winners of three in a row, starting with their second victory against the Broncos, the Raiders should get another “W” this week.

On “Thursday Night Football,” the Raiders are playing the hapless Los Angeles Rams. Sure, the Rams won the Super Bowl last year, but they sacrificed their future to do so. The team picked up quarterback Baker Mayfield off waivers earlier this week, but he’s unlikely to play. That means Bryce Perkins, who is not good, will get the start against the Raiders in Week 14. That means the Raiders should win their fourth game in a row.

They’re not out of the playoff picture yet, and the Raiders seem to be rolling and getting healthy at the right time. With a 5-7 record, they’ll have to win out to have a chance at the postseason, but their recent play has given them momentum the Broncos have failed to generate under Hackett. I don’t think McDaniels is a good coach, but the stuff he’s trying in Las Vegas is working – unlike Hackett who seems to be lost every week no matter how much help he gets.

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Los Angeles Chargers

Stop me if you’ve heard this before; the Chargers have a ton of talent, but they don’t know how to win. Some things never change. In life, there are death, taxes, and the Chargers choking. They have a superstar in QB Justin Herbert, but the team doesn’t finish games despite having quality talent on both sides of the ball.

Could they be looking to move on from head coach Brandon Staley? The answer is not yes, it’s hell yes. In fact, with Herbert, the Chargers may be the top destination for the hottest head coaching candidates out there. We may see former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton back in the league next year. Would he choose the Chargers over the Broncos? Provided both teams fire their head coaches, I think we all know that answer if we’re going to be honest.

Chargers WR Mike Williams (ankle) might be able to return to practice at some point this week, Staley said Monday, Dec. 5. Williams is talented but oft injured. While he’s been out of action, guys like WR Josh Palmer and WR DeAndre Carter have stepped up. Again, the Chargers have quality talent and depth – but they are missing proper coaching and a winning culture. This week on Sunday Night Football, the Chargers are at home to face a superior Miami Dolphins team. Expecting them to get things on track this week might be a fool’s errand.

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Around the AFC West: Is a coaching change coming for the Chargers?