Around the AFC West: Chiefs stand alone up top, Broncos in basement

Patrick Mahomes. Credit: Stan Szeto, USA TODAY Sports.
Patrick Mahomes. Credit: Stan Szeto, USA TODAY Sports.

Two weeks into the 2019 NFL season and things are basically where many expected them to be in the AFC West.

The Kansas City Chiefs, led by their superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, are a perfect 2-0 while the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers are mediocre at 1-1 each. Then, all the way down the list, is the Denver Broncos at 0-2.

Let’s take a look at how the teams did this previous weekend:

Kansas City (2-0)

The Chiefs just keep on rolling. This week, Kansas City knocked of the ridiculously bad Raiders, who beat the Broncos in Week 1. Somewhat incredibly, the Raiders jumped out to the 10-0 lead in the first quarter, but that was all for not as Mahomes and Co. went off in the second frame.

Mahomes enjoyed four passing touchdowns in that second quarter alone, tying Aaron Rodgers’ same output in a quarter back in 2014. The loss of Tyreek Hill to injury certainly isn’t hurting the Chiefs; Demarcus Robinson starred with 172 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Also notable was Travis Kelce’s seven catches for 107 yards and a score while Mercole Hardman scored once as well.

The Chiefs offense has been so prolific, they just set an NFL record by scoring 25-plus points in 23 straight games; that’s scary if you’re a team in their division.

Next up: The perfect Chiefs face the also 2-0 Baltimore Ravens in what could be a brilliant battle. That game kicks at 11 a.m. MT on Sunday.

Oakland Raiders

As mentioned above, the Raiders started out hot but then were shut out the last three quarters of the game. In fact, it was the first time in 118 all-time matchups between the two that a single point wasn’t scored in the second half by either team.

While Mahomes was near-perfect, Derek Carr struggled a bit, throwing two interceptions. The Raiders defense gave up a total of 464 yards while also allowing Kansas City to convert on a shocking 57 percent of third-down conversions.

Next up: The Raiders (1-1) play the Vikings (1-1) in Minnesota at 11 a.m. MT on Sunday.

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers were unable to keep it going after their Week 1 win, losing 13-10 to the Detroit Lions in Michigan.

Both Philip Rivers and Austin Ekeler came back down to earth on Sunday after enjoying superb days in the week prior. Rivers threw for 293 yards and one interception while Ekeler ran for 66 yards and a touchdown while he received for 67 more yards through the air.

After leading most of the game, Detroit capitalized on a Chargers’ missed field goal at the end of the third quarter. The Lions took that miss and marched down the field for the game-winning touchdown, a Matt Stafford pass 31 yards to Kenny Golladay.

Following that touchdown drive came Rivers’ interception, which sealed the deal for the Chargers.

Next up: LA (1-1) hosts the Texans (1-1) with a 2:25 p.m. MT kickoff this Sunday.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos lost to the Chicago Bears on Sunday in heartbreaking fashion. Not only did they lose in the final seconds, that loss set an NFL record as well.

Denver became the first team to trail by one in the fourth quarter, score a 2-point conversion and still lose according to Elias.

Offensively, Joe Flacco was solid but his offensive line was atrocious. That was led by the four holding penalties by Garett Bolles and two more by Ron Leary. They also could have handed the ball off more to Phillip Lindsay, but, let’s move on.

Defensively, Denver’s lackluster pass rush is something to be concerned about certainly. Through two games, the Broncos have zero sacks and zero forced turnovers; those numbers must change if Denver wants to win football games.

It was the first time since 1999 the Broncos started 0-2 and now they face the 2-0 Packers at home in Green Bay. That kicks off at 11 a.m. MT and Denver will need everything to go their way to win this week. But, 0-3 is certainly staring them in the face.

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