BRONCOS

Around the AFC West: Are the Broncos the worst team in the division?

Oct 12, 2022, 6:50 AM
Russell Wilson...
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos are not yet the worst team in the AFC West. Even though their 2-3 record is better than the Las Vegas Raiders (1-4), the Broncos lost to the Raiders, and they certainly have the worst offense in a division full of high-powered offenses.

The AFC West is starting to play better football. Well, most every team except for the Broncos are playing better football and being much more competitive than they were in the month of September.

Let’s take a spin around the AFC West to see what the competition is up to.

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Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs were able to win a thriller over the Raiders on “Monday Night Football” in Week 5. Their offense is one of the best in the league, and they were able to mount a comeback in the second half against the Raiders to secure a 30-29 win. That game was a reminder that they may be down, but the Chiefs are never out of it.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 29-of-43 passes for 292 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. All four of those touchdowns went to Travis Kelce, who continues to be the best tight end in all of football. The Broncos have done a better job covering tight ends than they have in years past, but Kelce is a different animal. He’s going to be tough for any defense to match up against regardless of their team history.

This week, the Chiefs play against the Buffalo Bills in what could be a preview of the AFC Championship Game this year. The two teams seem destined to face each other in the playoffs, and the winner will be the favorite for the Super Bowl. It was the Chiefs who knocked the Bills out of the playoffs last year in the Divisional Round. The Bills will be looking for revenge, not just in Week 6, but in the postseason if the two teams face off – and they should. This could be one of the best games of the 2022 season.

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Las Vegas Raiders

On the flip side of that Chiefs win are the disappointed and frustrated Raiders. They built a lead against the Chiefs, but they couldn’t hang on and get their second win of the season.

The Raiders were able to beat the Broncos, and they did that on the back of running back Josh Jacobs who rushed for a career-best 144 yards in Week 4. Against the Chiefs, Jacobs beat that with 154 yards on 21 carries. Through a bad start for the Raiders this season, they seem to have figured out the offense and how it should flow through the ground game.

After the loss, there was an incident between wide receiver Davante Adams and a photographer trying to get by him at the tunnel entrance. Adams knocked down the photog as he was hurrying in front of him, and now he might face punishment from the NFL. The photog had to go to the hospital, and there might be charges filed against Adams.

Depending on what happens in the legal process, Adams is subject to a possible suspension from this occurrence.
To make things worse, Raiders tight end Darren Waller suffered a hamstring injury in the Week 5 game against the Chiefs and he was unable to return. He didn’t last long enough to record any stats or targets. Waller is an incredible weapon, but his game seems off this year due to injury and inconsistency. If he has to miss time, it won’t help the Raiders get in the “W” column going forward.

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Los Angeles Chargers

It’s bad news for the Broncos, but the Chargers are getting healthy at the right time. Ahead of their Week 6 matchup against Denver, the Chargers should be getting back one of the best wide receivers in the league. Last week, Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (hamstring) remains day-to-day but missed the game against the Cleveland Browns. “We’re just going to make sure we are careful,” head coach Brandon Staley said Monday, Oct. 3.

This week on Monday night against the Broncos, we should see Allen return to the field. We’ll know more about his status as the week of practice goes on with Saturday being the most important day to monitor.

Without Allen, the Chargers have turned to Mike Williams. He’s a big-bodied receiver who can be problematic in his own right. Williams posted career-high 10 receptions for 134 yards on 13 targets in Week 5 against the Browns. The yardage total was the second highest of his career. With Allen back, Williams could see fewer targets. However, without cornerback Ronald Darby, the Broncos defense is going to be susceptible to Williams and/or Allen.

There is a Colorado product who will be especially problematic for Denver on Monday night. Eaton’s very own Austin Ekeler rushed 16 times for a season-high 173 yards and a touchdown in Week 5 against the Browns while turning his four targets into four catches for 26 yards and a touchdown. He will be the biggest part of the Chargers offense the team has to stop, or at least slow down. Quarterback Justin Herbert is a superstar, but he can be set up for passing success nicely if Ekeler can break free on the ground.

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Around the AFC West: Are the Broncos the worst team in the division?