What a great first week for the NFL and for the AFC West. The end of the first week finds AFC West teams leading the league in both offense and defense. The Chargers are the #1 team on offense and the Broncos as the #1 team on defense. Here is how the rest of the teams fared.
OffenseChargers – 483 yards, league rank #1Chiefs – 330 yards, league rank #18Raiders – 246 yards, league rank #30Broncos – 219 yards, league rank #31
DefenseBroncos – 173 yards, league rank #1Chargers – 302 yards, league rank #10Chiefs – 396 yards, league rank #24Raiders – 396 yards, league rank #24
ChargersFour minutes into the 2nd quarter the Chargers found themselves down 21-3 and punting again, but that was the last time they would punt. The Chargers dominated the next 41 minutes of football, scoring 30 unanswered points. Phillip River went on to pass for the most yards of any quarterback this week. He went for 404 yards completing 35-42 for a league leading completion percentange of 83.3. Keenan Allen had a career day catching 15 passes for 166 yards and finds himself as the top receiver in the league.
The Chargers defense which struggled early against the run ended the day only giving up 69 yards on the ground. The secondary was able to smother Calving Johnson (2 catches for for 39 yards) and Golden Tate(4 catches for 24 yards).
ChiefsThe Chiefs wasted no in time taking advantage of Houston’s mistakes. Brian Hoyer turned the ball over twice (one INT, one fumble) giving the Chiefs two drives starting in the red zone. The Houston defense also blew a coverage leaving Travis Kelce wide open (no one within 10 yards) on a 42 yard TD score.
Houston was able to move the ball against Kansas City gaining more yardage than the Chiefs (396-330), but the Chiefs were able to keep the Texans from converting those drives into points.
Alex Smith went 22-33 for 243 yards and 2 TDs. Jamal Charles had 15 carries and 5 reception for 103 yards.
BroncosThe Broncos teamed up with the Ravens for the defensive slug fest of the week. Aqib Talib scored the Broncos only touchdown as Denver’s offense failed to reach the endzone, but it was enough for the Broncos to pull out the win as Denver’s defense stifled the Ravens offense all day long.
The Brocos D held the Ravens to only 173 yards (100 passing and 73 rushing), gave up only 11 first downs and limited the 3 down completion to 15% (2-13). They also intercepted Flaco twice – taking one the other way for 6 points and the other killed the Ravens fourth quarter comeback attempt.
RaidersAndy Dalton and the Bengals cruised past the Raiders. The built a 33-0 lead by the start of the 4th quarter. Derek Carr struggled going 7-12 for 61 yards before leaving the game with an injured hand. Jack Del Rio best summed up the Raiders performance with this quote, “”That’s a very disappointing, embarrassing effort. I take full responsibility. We’ll get it turned around and corrected.”
#1 San DiegoThe Chargers were the most balanced team on Sunday by putting up good numbers on both offense and defense. They also faced the toughest opponent on Sunday in the Detroit Lions (Cincinnati and Baltimore are close to the same caliber, but at this point in the season I would rank Detroit above both of them)
#2 Kansas CityThe Chiefs put together a good game on the road. The defense forced mistakes from the Texans and the Chiefs took advantage of them. However, the Chiefs struggled to move the ball and score in the second half. This is a close call between the Chiefs and Chargers for the top spot, but the Chargers get the nod based on the strength of the opponent they faced. The Texans are not a playoff team.
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#3 DenverThe Broncos defensive performance was awesome. The numbers are staggering – 173 yards allowed. That easily is best in the league this week. The other side of the ball was not stellar. I mean the Raiders gained more yards on Sunday than Denver did. Broncos fans can try and point to a stout Ravens defense, but don’t kid yourself, there are problems with the Broncos offense. This definitely is not the same offense that scored 7 TDs on the Raven in the opening week of 2013.
#4 OaklandEven though the Raiders had made what appeared to be moves this offseason to improve their team the result on Sunday was less than mediocre.