The Oakland Raiders have suddenly found life, while the Kansas City Chiefs lost and are dealing with a crush of injuries.
Two weeks ago, the AFC West looked like it was already a done deal.
The Kansas City Chiefs were the only team in the division to win in both Week 2 and 3 and once promising division battle appeared to be a dud.
Yet, heading into Week 6, are pleased to report that the AFC West – expected to be one of the best division in the 2019 season – is interesting again.
The Oakland Raiders have put together back-to-back impressive wins away from Oakland, against Indianapolis and Chicago. Meanwhile, Kansas City stumbled at home in Week 5.
Now, the Chiefs lead Oakland, 3-2, by one game.
Let’s look at our AFC West Week 6 Risers and Fallers
Raiders’ rookies: The Raiders executed a 97-yard game-winning drive in the final minutes to beat the Bears. Rookies, running back Josh Jacobs, wide receiver Hunter Renfrow and tight end Foster Moreau all made critical plays on the drive. Oakland general manager Mike Mayock wanted this draft class to be a foundation group and the early results are strong.
Broncos’ defense: After being dormant in the first four games of the season under new coach, defensive specialist Vic Fangio, the Denver defense came alive in an upset victory over the Chargers in Week 5. The Broncos had two interceptions and a fumble recovery against the Chargers. They didn’t have any turnovers in the first four games. Denver is still looking or its first sack of the season, but its defense is trending the right way after it won its first game of the season.
Raiders’ resolve: The Raiders saw a 17-0 halftime lead against the Bears turn into a 31-17 deficit after three quarters. Still, the young Raiders kept their poise in all facets of the game and came away with a huge 24-21 victory. For a time that doesn’t play in Oakland until November 3, that experience can be great fuel as it navigates through the toughest road stretch in the NFL.
Chiefs’ invincibility: The Chiefs raced through the first four games of the season and looked like a truly elite team. Yet, in Week 5. Patrick Mahomes and company were tamed by the Indianapolis Colts. Thus, the Chiefs won’t go 6-0. That’s Ok. They are still going to be fine,. They probably should have won the game, but they will learn from it.
The Chargers: No particular aspect of the Chargers, just the whole team. The Chargers are the biggest disappointment in the NFL thus far at 2-3 after the loss to Denver. We’ve seen the Chargers start slowly before, but this year was supposed to be different. Yes, they are injured, but the Chargers are always injured. Things can change. But Anthony Lynn’s 2019 version doesn’t appear ready to a weather the storm.
Chris Jones: The Chiefs got somewhat banged up in the loss to the Colts. The biggest injury was the defensive lineman Chris Jones. The standout suffered a groin injury that will make him week-to-week. The Chiefs have to hope Jones, the anchor of their defense, comes back sooner rather than later.