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State of the AFC West after Week 2: Patrick Mahomes NFL record 10 TD’s in 2 weeks has Chiefs the team to beat

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Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After two weeks into the NFL season the Raiders are the lone winless team while the Chiefs look like the team to beat in the AFC West. The Broncos and Chiefs are both tied at the top of the division with 2-0 records after the Chiefs beat the Steelers this week and the Broncos barely beat the Raiders. The Chargers bounced back from their loss last week to the Chiefs with a win against the Buffalo Bills.

Standings

Kansas City Chiefs 2-0 (1-0 DIV)

Denver Broncos 2-0 (1-0 DIV)

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

Oakland Raiders 0-2 (0-1 DIV)

How we got here:

Kansas City Chiefs beat Pittsburgh Steelers 42-37

After just two weeks of the NFL season, the Chiefs look genius to have moved on from Alex Smith to give the team over to first year starter QB Patrick Mahomes. As if his 4 touchdown performance last week against the Chargers wasn’t enough, this week he had an astounding 6 touchdown passes! That is an NFL record with 10 touchdown passes in just the first two weeks of the season, no player in NFL history has started a season like that.

As for the game against the Steelers itself, what a rollercoaster ride! The Chiefs dominated the 1st quarter with 3 touchdowns, only to have Pittsburgh tie it up with 3 touchdowns of their own in the 2nd quarter. The two teams were like a heavy weight boxing match trading tenacious blows back and forth, but it was the Chiefs scoring two touchdowns in a row at the end of the 3rd and then again in the 4th quarter that proved to be the knockout blows.

Both teams utilized their tightends masterfully with the Chiefs Travis Kelce having 7 receptions for 109 yards and 2 touchdowns and Steelers TE Jesse James having 5 receptions for 138 yards and a touchdown. Each team also had a wide receiver with over 100 yards receiving as well with KC’s Sammy Watkins having 6 catches for 100 yards and Steelers had JuJu Smith-Schuster with 13! catches for 121 yards. It was definitely an air it out, free for all in Pittsburgh just as the 42-37 score would suggest.

Next Up: San Francisco 49ers (1-1)

San Diego Chargers beat Buffalo Bills 31-20

Unlike the Chiefs/Steelers match up, the score of the Chargers and Bills game does not tell the whole story because the Chargers dominated this game despite only winning by 11. Philip Rivers was outstanding going 23 of 27 passing for 256 yards with 3 touchdowns, 2 of which went to RB Melvin Gordon who also had one rushing for 3 touchdowns on the day himself.

The scoring drives for the Chargers started off with a 10 yard passing touchdown to rookie Mike Williams, followed by a 20 yard touchdown run from Melvin Gordon, then after the Bills got a field goal the Chargers came back with the pair of passing touchdowns to Gordon (9 yards, and 2 yards) to complete the impressive first half for LA. Buffalo did manage to tack on a field goal before the half as well.

The Chargers were up 28-6 at half time before taking their foot off the gas and letting Buffalo catch up with a 14-3 the rest of the way. The 2nd half scoring drives were a 1 yard touchdown run by Bills RB Chris Ivory, followed by the Chargers field goal, and then Buffalo got one last meaningless touchdown at the end on a reception from Kelvin Benjamin. Those 2nd half points never really mattered though, the game was never in question for Los Angeles.

The Chargers defense also played well in this game with 5 sacks and 2 interceptions despite not having their best player DE Nick Bosa who is expected to be out until October. The Bolts really needed this bounce back victory after being embarrassed last week by having their own stadium taken over completely by Chiefs fans in their loss to KC.

Next Up: Los Angeles Rams (2-0)

Denver Broncos beat Oakland Raiders 20-19

The Raiders never should have lost this game to the Broncos, they had it completely controlled through much of it before falling apart down the stretch. Oakland QB Derek Carr had a fantastically accurate day with his completing 29 of 32 passes for 288 yards, but only one touchdown on the day. It was the lack of touchdowns and trying to run the clock out instead that eventually doomed the Raiders in this one.

The game started out with another impressive opening drive from Jon Gruden, but unlike last week against the Rams this time the Raiders only got a 26 yard field goal. Their next scoring drive also culminated in a Mike Nugent field goal, that one from 46 yards out. They then finished off their 1st quarter with a 10 play, 75 yard drive that they finished off with a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run.

The score was only 12-0 after that though because the extra point was blocked, a huge factor in this game considering the 20-19 final score. Neither team scored in the 2nd quarter but the Broncos opened up the 2nd half with their first touchdown drive of the day to make it 12-7. Still, the Raiders responded great to that one with a quick touchdown of their own on a laser of a pass from Carr to Seth Roberts from 20 yards out. Sadly that was the last points of the day while the Broncos managed to up a 39 yard field goal, a 4th and 1 touchdown run from Case Keenum and then the game winning 36 yard field goal in the final seconds.

The gut wrenching loss for the Raiders sticks them at the bottom of the AFC West with an 0-2 record while the Broncos have started the season 2-0 despite not playing well at all. That’s the NFL for you though, just a couple of plays can make all the difference in winning or losing in this league.

Next Up (Raiders): Miami Dolphins (2-0)

Next Up (Broncos): Baltimore Ravens (1-1)