NFL: A Breakdown of the AFC West


Ashton Erickson, Staff Writer

As Week 5 comes to an end the AFC West still looks up for grabs for any team.

First, take a look at your Denver Broncos. I think I can speak for everyone that we are shocked by their performance this season so far. I mean a $245 million QB to only have four touchdowns in 5 games. And two of those games, not a single touchdown was thrown.

After a rough loss Thursday night to the Colts, which should’ve been an easy win, a flag has been raised to fans. The key question everyone is looking at is what does the rest of the season look like?
Well, with some big injuries on both sides of the ball, the Broncos have been struggling. However the defensive side of the ball has been fairly good and holding their own and with key players like Justin Simmons, Pat Surtain II and Bradley Chubb, the defense has been holding their own.

The struggle is on the offensive side. With no Javonte Williams the rest of the season — after a knee injury –their running game is trying to find answers. But that shouldn’t be a problem right? I mean they spent money on Russell Wilson, you think he could do something. Well with a very slow start to the season, Wilson hasn’t done much for this team.

But this shouldn’t be too much of a worry… yet. It is still the point of the season where the division is still up for grabs. With a new coaching staff and a new leader on the team, Wilson, you can’t expect the Broncos to be blazing right out of the gate. With a 2-3 record sitting at third in the division isn’t the worst position. With five more division games yet to be played, there is still hope, especially with the threats their offense has. I mean Peyton Manning started 2-3 when he first came to Denver.

Now looking at the top team in the division, Kansas City. The team that has dominated the AFC West for the past couple seasons. Sitting at 3-1, they are tops in the division. Even after losing star receiver in the offseason, Tyreek Hill, their offense still looks deadly.

Tight end, Travis Kelce is still a beast and is really Mahomes’ top option. This duo continues to slay through defenses’ leaving Mahomes with 11 passing touchdowns already this season through four games. With a tough loss from the Colts in week 4, KC has a divisional game tonight against the Raiders.

A win on Monday Night Football against Las Vegas will put the Chiefs in a really great spot in their division and potentially show us how the AFC West will end.

The other up and coming team in the AFC West is the Los Angeles Chargers.

With a good run last season and having such a young team, this team can make a deep playoff run. They have young offensive threats that just keep getting better. Quarterback Justin Herbert has proved his name in the NFL last season and continues to lead the Chargers to wins. They barely snuck by the Browns in Sunday’s game, they can keep the winning streak alive next week at Denver. Colorado born and raised star running back Austin Ekeler from Eaton is arguably the top running back in the league. They have already beat the Raiders and just fell just three points shy of the Chiefs, the Chargers look in pretty good shape. They have a great defense to back up their young offense and this team is overlooked in this league.

Finally, the worst team in the division right now is the Las Vegas Raiders.

Even though they are just 1-3 and last in the division, their one win was a divisional game against the Broncos.

The Raiders made some key changes in the offseason adding the best receiver to their roster, Davante Adams. The Raiders have a solid offense and a decent quarterback in Derek Carr and reliable running back with Josh Jacobs.

However even with these key players they have been struggling this season. At 1-1 in divisional play so far this season, with a loss to the Chargers, the Raiders still have a shot to make the playoffs. Going into a big game tonight against the Kansas City Chiefs, a win from the Raiders would be huge.

Overall, just five weeks into the season there isn’t much that can be concluded with how the AFC West is going to play out. With such strong talent in this division it can be argued that any team can still run away to be divisional champions.