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State of the AFC West after week one: Broncos win opener with Raiders up next

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Seattle Seahawks v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The first week of the 2018 NFL season is in the books. It saw two AFC West teams begin the season with a win and two with a loss. Leading the way was the Chiefs who took out the Chargers. Then the Broncos beat the Seahawks and finally the Raiders fell to the Rams on Monday Night.


Kansas City Chiefs 1-0 (1-0 Div)

Denver Broncos 1-0 (0-0 Div)

Oakland Raiders 0-1 (0-0 Div)

Los Angeles Chargers 0-1 (0-1 Div)

How we got here:

Chiefs beat Chargers 38-28

The Chiefs went into LA and painted the town red. Check out this shot of the game and try to spot some Chargers blue in there (it isn’t easy).

I mean, the Raiders have long blacked out Chargers games, even in San Diego and especially in Los Angeles. But this is absurd.

It was a shootout in LA. Philip Rivers completed 34 passes for 424 yards and three touchdowns and STILL managed to lose. That’s because Chiefs new gunslinger Patrick Mahomes threw FOUR touchdowns. And he did it on just 15 completions.

More impressive might be Tyreek Hill who ‘reeked’ havoc on the Chargers. The first time he touched the ball was on the Chargers punt after their opening series. And Hill returned it 91 yards for the score. He would add to it later in the first quarter with a 58-yard touchdown catch.

The Chargers would get to within two point down 14-12 in the second quarter. But two touchdowns in the third quarter had the Chiefs pull away. And, of course, the dagger was delivered by Hill from Mahomes from one yard out to go up 38-20 midway through the fourth quarter.

Chiefs look tough and Mahomes looks like the real deal. But it’s one game so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Next up (Chiefs): Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0-1)

Next up (Chargers): Buffalo Bills (0-1)

Broncos outlast Seahawks to win 27-24

In a game that featured 7 lead changes, the Broncos scored last score to eek out the victory.

The Broncos will take the win, but barely beating a bad Seahawks team at home is not a rousing success. Especially when it took essentially two missed field goals by Sebastian Janikowski to do it.

Late in the second quarter, Janikowski lined up for a 51-yard field goal and missed it wide left. But he would get another chance because the Broncos were flagged for being offsides. He lined up for another try from 46-yards and...missed it again wide left. This sent the teams into the half time locker room with the Broncos up 17-10.

The Seahawks were able to tie it up in the third following back-to-back turnovers by each team. First a fumble by the Seahawks and then Case Keenum throwing an interception on the first play of the Broncos series to give the Seahawks the ball at the Denver 41.

Five plays later, the Seahawks were in the end zone on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Brandon Marshall to tie it up at 17-17. Early in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks added another touchdown to go up 24-20.

Keenum was able to lead the Broncos down the field on the following drive, including a 25-yard pass to rookie Courtland Sutton and a 22-yard pas to tight end Jake Butt (no pun intended) to put the Broncos in first and goal. Keenum put it in the end zone on one play to DeAnthony Thomas to give the Broncos the final lead of the day.

Keenum had an up and down day. He threw for 329 yards and 3 touchdowns but he also threw three picks. This is important to note, because the Raiders head to Denver this week to face Keenum and the Broncos.

Next up: Oakland Raiders (0-1)

Raiders dumped by Rams 33-13

Like Keenum, Derek Carr also had three interceptions in week one for the Raiders. But he didn’t offset it with three touchdown passes. He had zero touchdown passes. But he did throw a pick six and was intercepted in the end zone. That’s the opposite of throwing a touchdown pass.

An opening touchdown drive was followed up by a couple field goal drives in the first half and an utterly incompetent second half that saw the Rams literally run away with the game. First it was Todd Gurley doing the running (20 carries for 108 yards) and then it was Marcus Peters picking off a Carr pass and returning it the other way to nail the coffin.

The one big bright spot was Jared Cook because he was working against the Rams only glaring weak area (the linebackers) most of the time. The times he was thrown to with a defensive back covering him both resulted in interceptions.

Another potential bright spot was the play of the corners, though Brandin Cooks and Cooper were still able to catch 5 passes each. Cooks had 87 yards and Cupp had a touchdown.

Next up: Denver Broncos (1-0)