There are four quarters in a football game, and there are four quarters of a football season.  After the first quarter of the 2016-17 NFL season, the Denver Broncos remain a perfect 4-0 and atop the AFC!

It takes four to six weeks to really figure out who these teams are, and the Broncos are exactly what we thought they were: champions.

Their all-world defense isn’t just as good as they were last year, but they might actually be better. Aqib Talib, who was much maligned this offseason, could be having the best year of his career, and Von Miller is right there with him. Throw in the development of Shane Ray and the continued dominance of Chris Harris and the Broncos are terrorizing quarterbacks like no defense we’ve every seen.

And … speaking of quarterbacks, Broncos Country got their first glimpse of first-round draft pick Paxton Lynch on Sunday!

Trevor Siemian was sacked three times in the 27-7 victory over the Buccaneers, and for Tampa Bay, the third time was the charm, as it knocked Siemian out of the game with a shoulder injury to his non-throwing arm. In his stead, Lynch was able to come in and handle the offense quite well, even throwing his first touchdown pass in the process.

A big dose of the credit has to go to Gary Kubiak, who made things comfortable for Paxton, keeping things simple and letting him take snaps out of shotgun.

Kubiak has said Lynch is on a developmental fast track dating back to training camp, but if Kubiak did not feel comfortable putting him under center to run the offense that Kubiak wants to run, well, that tells me they don’t believe he is ready. Yet.

Lynch showed he can fill in when needed, but until Kubiak and the team believe he is 100 percent ready to be the guy, it will remain Siemian’s job. That time is not right now.

Kubiak said Monday at Dove Valley that Siemian is day to day and is the starter if healthy.

The good news is that the defense isn’t going anywhere, and the running game has yet to show up the same day as the passing game. When that happens, the Broncos are going to be even better.

Now, a look at the rest of the AFC West:

Oakland Raiders

Let’s start in Oakland, because it’ll be short and sweet with the Chargers and Chiefs. Oakland is now 3-1 on the year after handing the Ravens their first loss of the season on Sunday. The Raiders don’t want to be in Oakland anymore, and their record proves it — 0-1 at home while 3-0 on the road. It’s been a reoccurring theme in these weekly articles, but the Raiders are back, and it’s good for the NFL.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are not as bad as the 43-14 beat down they suffered at the hands of the Steelers on Sunday Night Football might make them out to be, but they’re not as good as the 24-3 win team we saw take down the Jets in Week 3, either, which does not look as impressive now that Ryan Fitzpatrick has shown he basically hates his wide receivers. Kansas City will bounce back, but they have a long way to go if they want to compete with the Raiders and Broncos.

San Diego Chargers

As far as the Chargers go, will someone please FIRE MIKE MCCOY?!?! The Chargers have now given up two 14-point leads in the fourth quarter this year. I actually feel bad for Phillip Rivers. Let’s hope he at least gets a cameo in some future remake of Ace Ventura, because he’s our generation’s Dan Marino, minus the one Super Bowl appearance.