AFC West standings, Week 4: Chiefs perfect, Raiders stumble

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 1: Defensive end Derek Wolfe
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 1: Defensive end Derek Wolfe /

The AFC West have spaced itself out through the first four weeks of the season. Here are the updated standings of this ultra-competitive football division.

The AFC West looks to be the one division in the AFC we can feel the most comfortable about sending a wild card team into the AFC playoffs. However, one of those teams may not be the Oakland Raiders.

Through Week 4, the Kansas City Chiefs remain perfect at 4-0. They are the last undefeated team in football. Kansas City has wins over the New England Patriots, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Los Angeles Chargers and the Washington Redskins.

The Chiefs do have a rough patch of games coming up, beginning with a road game at the Houston Texans on Sunday Night Football in Week 5. Houston has found their quarterback in rookie Deshaun Watson.

If the Chiefs don’t stumble in Houston, they are bound to fall at some point very soon. They have the Pittsburgh Steelers, at the Raiders, the Denver Broncos and at the Dallas Cowboys before their bye in Week 10.

AFC West Standings, Week 4

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)
  2. Denver Broncos (3-1)
  3. Oakland Raiders (2-2)
  4. Los Angeles Chargers (0-4)

Denver comes in at 3-1 on the year. The Broncos have wins over the Chargers, the Cowboys and the Raiders. Their lone loss came on the road to a Buffalo Bills team that might be pretty good, as Buffalo is 3-1 on the year as well.

Oakland got off to a hot start at 2-0 with wins over the Tennessee Titans and at home versus the New York Jets. However, the Raiders have dropped their last two games to the Washington Redskins in primetime and to the Broncos. Both of those games were on the road.

The Chargers are having a miserable first season in Los Angeles. They are winless at 0-4 with losses to the Broncos, the Miami Dolphins, the Chiefs and the Eagles. Los Angeles’ playoff hopes all but dashed. If they don’t beat another winless team in the New York Giants in Week 5, it’s over for the Chargers in 2017, period.

So how could the standings shake out after Week 5? Could we see the division race get a little tighter in the AFC West for the Raiders? Well, that all starts with the Silver and Black taking care of business at home on Sunday versus the Baltimore Ravens.

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Oakland may have to live with EJ Manuel as their quarterback for the next month or so with Derek Carr out. However, he has familiarity with offensive coordinator Todd Downing’s system. They previously worked together with the 2014 Bills. This is also a navigable part of the Raiders’ schedule, as it gets tough after their bye in Week 10.

Denver is one of the few teams that will be on a bye this week. The Broncos are riding high at 3-1 with two wins in the division. They get two weeks to get ready for maybe an 0-5 Giants team. The Broncos get Los Angeles in Week 7, but doesn’t face a tough opponent until Week 8 with at Kansas City.

So an ideal weekend for the Raiders would look like this: a win at home over Baltimore, a Chiefs loss to the Texans and a Chargers loss to the Giants. That isn’t out of the realm of possibility as the Raiders are at home and their two rivals are on the road.

Next: Oakland Raiders: 5 players to watch vs. Baltimore Ravens

Oakland could be at best a game back of the first-place Chiefs, half a game back of the Broncos, with Denver having the head-to-head tiebreaker of course and the Chargers three games back of Oakland. The Raiders can definitely make up ground this week, but that all starts with a win over Baltimore.