AFC West Standings and Recap: Week One

Now that Week One is over here is your (extremely early) AFC West recap and standings:

1. Denver 1-0
2. Kansas City 1-0
3. San Diego 0-1
4. Oakland 0-1

What we Learned From Week One 

1. Denver 1-0

Sep 5, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) reacts with the crowd following his touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Ravens 49-27. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Denver got to host the NFL Season Kickoff despite not winning the Super Bowl. Peyton Manning threw seven touchdowns. The Broncos are who we thought they were. That is about it. Anything else?

2. Kansas City 1-0

Sep 8, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid during the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City’s win had a little to do with their new puppet master in Andy Reid and their new quarterback having strong debuts and a little to do with the fact that they were playing the Jacksonville Jaguars. Reid/Smith can breathe easy after a 28-2 win where the only Jaguars points came from a blocked punt that went out of the endzone.

Despite the lack of competition, the Chiefs still deserve credit as they played well on both sides of the ball and dominated Jacksonville for four quarters, not letting up or giving ground once the game seemed in the bag.

Alex Smith came as advertised and was efficient, throwing for two scores and posting a passer rating of 94.4. Most importantly the defense was outstanding as they got six sacks on Sunday and a defensive touchdown.

Still they were playing the Jaguars and it is extremely likely that the Raiders (and much of the NFL) will have the same success against the Jaguars this season. Kansas City will have a good chance to prove that they are legit playoff contenders this Sunday when they host Dallas. If they can beat Tony Romo and the Cowboys I will be much more convinced. A win over the Jaguars can only prove so much. On paper this is the second best team in the AFC West, I just need to see it against a better team before that  prediction becomes closer to fact.

3. San Diego 0-1

Sep 9, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Houston Texans kicker Randy Bullock (4) celebrates with teammates after his game-winning field goal to defeat the Chargers 31-28 at Qualcomm Stadium. At right is San Diego Chargers cornerback Derek Cox (22). Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

For one half San Diego looked like world beaters, then reality struck. The Houston Texans defense was just too much for Phillip Rivers, who threw a costly pick six to Brian Cushing that sparked the biggest comeback in Texans history as San Diego conceded 24 unanswered points to lose on Monday night. For the Chargers, who have a reputation for these type of losses, it was deja vu all over again to start the Mike McCoy era.

A good first half will keep spirits slightly high on Tuesday in San Diego, but four three and outs and a turnover returned for a touchdown in the second half is not winning football and never will be. If San Diego is going to win this season, and their first half showed that it is possible, Phillip Rivers is going to have to be much better at managing games this year. That didn’t happen in the second half last night and is the main reason why the Chargers are sitting at 0-1. Playing the high flying Chip Kelly Eagles offense in Week Two, things might get a lot worse before they get better.

4. Oakland 0-1

We have said all that we can about Oakland’s impressive loss (yes, that is a thing for those who value performance over results) that can be said at this point, but we might as well rehash it out one last time. Terrelle Pryor’s game was outstanding, Rod Streater looked like a serviceable #1 receiver and Denarius Moore looks comfortable in being the second guy and the offensive and defensive line problems shouldn’t be as much of a worry as initially thought.

It was one week, but Oakland should be 1-1 after playing the Jaguars and after that games against the Broncos and Washington will be the measuring sticks of their season. For now spirits are high in Oakland. For how long largely will depend on how their new quarterback develops. If Pryor can stay consistent, Oakland could very well avoid the AFC West basement.

Topics: AFC West, AFC West Recap, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, NFL, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, Week One

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