Year after year, the AFC West is known as one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. This year started off the same as many others, but things went awry in the division and the balance of power shifted ever so slightly. Things remain very muddled, but let’s take a look at the AFC West after Week 8.
Oakland Raiders- After a miraculous Week 7 game against their division rival Kansas City, the Raiders crashed back to Earth against in Buffalo. LeSean McCoy was held in check for the most part until the latter parts of the game. Suddenly, in the 4th quarter, he ran wild against the Raiders leaky defense. The Oakland offense continued to sputter and still have yet to find their identity and rhythm. Next ,face the Miami Dolphins, who traded away Jay Ajayi but still have great weapons in their receiving corps in DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry, and Kenny Stills. Jay Cutler returns for this game, which means the Raiders might get their first pick of the season. Hopefully, the Raiders get back on track, but flying across the country brings no guarantees. Prediction- Raiders win.
Kansas City Chiefs- Kansas City stood on top of the division for the whole year, and it doesn’t seem like that will. They dominated the division by defeating the Denver Broncos last week. Well, that’s not entirely true; the Broncos pretty much beat themselves by letting Trevor Siemian play quarterback last week. Though Travis Kelce fared well against the no-fly zone and Siemian threw three interceptions and the Chiefs also collected 2 fumbles as well. This week, the Chiefs venture to Dallas, where the Cowboys will have Ezekiel Elliott as their disposal. This game looks to be a shootout, with both defenses susceptible to getting exposed by the opposing offense. Prediction-Kansas City wins.
Los Angeles Chargers- The Chargers cruised on a 3-game win streak up until last Sunday. They battled against the defending Super-Bowl champs in what appeared to be an offensive explosion. Well, both quarterbacks did not impress, but the most definitive play of the day was Travis Benjamin running backwards on a punt inside the Chargers own 15 to end up in the end-zone for a safety. Melvin Gordon exploded on one play for 87 yards and a touchdown, but other nothing much afterwards. The Chargers enjoy a bye this week before facing the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Denver Broncos- The Broncos insist on beating themselves this year. The defense still ranks as one of the best in the NFL, while their offense has almost all of the pieces except for the most important one, the quarterback. Last week, they played in division as previously stated and got beat easily by the Chiefs in Arrowhead. This week, they journey to Philadelphia to face one of the best teams in the NFL right now. Carson Wentz looks like a seasoned pro in that offense and their defensive line is one of the best in the NFL as well. The Broncos are making a change at quarterback from Trevor Siemian to Brock Osweiler, so there’s that. The Broncos will have to wait until next season to get a competent quarterback on their roster and until then, they will continue to make their defense try and win games for them. Prediction- Philadelphia wins.