“No athlete is truly tested until they’ve stared an injury in the face and come out on the other side stronger than ever.”

That could be the mantra for the entire NFL but the AFC West was hit pretty hard too. This week in football we saw so many injuries that it felt like some teams gave up on themselves. I am proud to say that is not the case in the AFC West. Team suffered key loses and still fought to the end. It was really great to see.

GRADES

Chiefs
The Chiefs, like all of the other teams in the Division had to deal with injuries. Sammy Watkins, Frank Clark, Darrell Williams and Antonio Hamilton all left the game and did not return. Patrick Mahomes was the offense in the game going 27 of 47 (57%) for 302 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was also the leading rusher with 6 carries for 54 yards. Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire was held in check with 10 carries for 38 yards and 6 receptions for 32 yards. Tyreek Hill had 5 receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown. The defense was just ok with 2 sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss and 1 interception. The player of the game was Harrison Butker. He was asked to hit a 53 yarder in overtime and did. There was a penalty on the play, move him back 5 yards. He then hit a 58 yards. No good, a timeout was called. He then hit the 58 yarder again. Ice in his veins, BRAVO!!! The Chiefs won on the road but did it against a rookie quarterback and needed overtime to get it done.

Grade: C+

Chargers
The Chargers got hit hard again this week. Starting Quarterback Tyron Taylor was a scratch right before the start of the game with a chest injury. Bryan Bulaga, Rayshawn Jenkins and Justin Jones left the game and did not return. Justin Herbert stepped in and went 22 of 33 (66%) for 311 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. He also rushed 4 times for 18 yards and 1 touchdown. Austin Ekeler was the leading rusher with 16 carries for 93 yards. He also had 4 receptions for 55 yards. Keenan Allen had 7 receptions for 96 yards. The defense played ok recording 1 sack and 2 tackles for loss. Overall, the Chargers gave the defending champs all they could handle taking them to overtime. It was a good showing.

Grade: B-

Broncos
The Broncos got hit hard yet again. Starting Quarterback Drew Lock went down with a shoulder injury. Cortland Sutton was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Dre’Mont Jones and DeMarcus Walker were also injured and did not return. Jeff Driskel came in and went 18 of 34 (53%) 256 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Melvin Gordon had 19 carries for 70 yards. Cortland Sutton had 3 receptions for 66 yards. The defense played better than expected an had 1 sack, 5 tackles for loss and 1 interception. The offensive line flat out sucked and gave up 7 sacks and 13 tackles for loss. Overall the Broncos played better than expected but it was not quite good enough.

Grade: C

Raiders
The Raiders had a few injuries. Richie Incognito left the game with an Achilles injury and did not return. The scariest moment was watching Johnathan Abram ran into a cart that was near the field on a goal-line play. He did return. Derek Carr played lights out going 28 of 38 (73%) for 282 yards and 3 touchdowns. Josh Jacobs rushed 27 times for 88 yards and 3 receptions for 17 yards. Darren Waller had 12 receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown. The defense was flat out horrible with no sacks, no tackles for loss and 1 interception. Daniel Carlson was perfect yet again hitting 2 field goals and 4 extra points. Overall the Raiders wanted it more and earned a fantastic win in their home opener at the newly built “Death Star”.

Grade: B+

PREDICTIONS

Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots
Going to the East Coast to play The Patriots after a bad lose for them to the Seahawks. Some will say that the Raiders have the momentum. I would say going against The Hoodie after a loss is no bueno. The Raiders will keep it close but in the end they will fall short to Newton and company.

Patriots 34 Raiders 28

Spread: +6 Raiders

Over/Under: 48

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos
Tom Brady is coming to town with a chip on his shoulder. Denver had his number when he was in New England, will that work now? With all of the injuries and the Bucs finding their running game with Leonard Fournette, this does not look good for the Broncos.

Buccaneers 27 Broncos 17

Spread: +6 Broncos

Over/Under: 43

Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are playing some pretty good football. They are also finding out that Justin Herbert is a pretty good player. The Panthers lost their best player in Christian McCaffrey for a month or two. That does not bold well for them coming to Los Angeles.

Chargers 24 Panthers 17

Spread: -6.5 Chargers

Over/Under: 43.5

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
Another fantastic Monday Night matchup, I love it! The last two league MVPs going toe to toe. This one will be a barn burner coming down to which defense steps up and makes a play. Baltimore is hitting on all cylinders right now and this is in their house.

Ravens 31 Chiefs 27

Spread: +3.5 Chiefs

Over/Under: 53

Week 2: 2-1 Season: 5-2

“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.”
– Ross Perot

Most of you young pups know nothing about the man who ran one of the most successful independent races for President. As journalist Paul Burka wrote in Texas Monthly, “Perot is the candidate of the disaffected, the disenchanted, the fed up: the people whose contempt for politics has passed beyond cynicism to despair.”

Here’s to another great week of football, Cheers!