With the Oakland Raiders improving to 2-0 after beating the New York Jets, let’s take a look at how the AFC West standings look heading into Week 3.
It’s great to be 2-0. The Oakland Raiders manhandled the New York Jets 45-20 to reach 2-0 for the first time since the 2002 NFL season. That year, the Raiders won the AFC and made it all the way to the Super Bowl. Could it be a special year in the Bay Area? It’s early, so let’s pump the brakes on that for a second. That’s not to say that the Raiders haven’t looked very good in their first two games.
While that is fantastic, two of the Raiders’ three biggest rivals also find themselves at 2-0 in the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs. From the looks of it, the AFC West will be the toughest division in the AFC and possibly all of football this year. Could this division send as many as three teams into the AFC playoffs?
Let’s take a look at the AFC West standings heading into Week 3 and what lies ahead for these four division rivals.
AFC West Standings
- Denver Broncos (2-0)
- Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
- Oakland Raiders (2-0)
- Los Angeles Chargers (0-2)
We have a three-way tie atop the division in the AFC West. Denver is 2-0 after outlasting the Los Angeles Chargers at home in Week 1 on Monday Night Football, 24-21. The Broncos stuck it to the visiting Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon at Mile High, 42-17. Quarterback Trevor Siemian threw for four touchdowns against Dallas on Sunday. Denver’s next game will be on the road in Orchard Park versus the 1-1 Buffalo Bills.
Kansas City is 2-0 with big wins over the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Chiefs shocked the football world on Thursday Night Football in Week 1 to throttle the Patriots in the second half in Foxborough, 42-27. Having 10 days to prepare for Andy Reid‘s mentee Doug Pederson‘s Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City managed to get a close win at Arrowhead over the Eagles on Sunday, 27-20. Kansas City will play the Chargers down in Carson on Sunday afternoon in Week 3.
Oakland begins its year at 2-0 thanks to two strong performances against AFC foes. The Raiders are the only team in the AFC West with two conference wins on the year, albeit none of them have come in the division. Oakland pushed around the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, 26-16 and pulverized the New York Jets in Week 2, 45-20. The Raiders have the toughest game in the division in Week 3. They will have to travel to the nation’s capital to play the 1-1 Washington Redskins on Sunday Night Football in Week 3.
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The Chargers are still looking for their first win since they moved to Los Angeles. Week 1 slipped through their fingers against a division rival in Denver. Los Angeles fell on the road to the Broncos, 24-21. While their next game is at home, they have to handle Kansas City in Carson on Sunday. Good luck with that.
Overall, Week 3 will be an interesting one in how the AFC West shapes out to end September. There is no guaranteed win on the slate for all four teams. Either Kansas City of Los Angeles will lose on Sunday. A loss for the Chiefs isn’t a huge deal since it would be their first and in the division. Los Angeles cannot fall to 0-3 to stand a chance in this tough division.
Denver is the better team over Buffalo. However, Buffalo plays better at home and is a Tyrod Taylor completion away from being 2-0. The Bills play solid defense under new head coach Sean McDermott. Buffalo isn’t going to give up 42 points like the Cowboys defense did in Week 2.
Oakland will play its toughest game of the young season. Washington is coming off a thrilling first win of the season over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2. This will be the best passing attack Oakland will have gone up against this season. The Raiders will need to bring their A game to beat Washington in Landover to improve to 3-0.