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State of the Division: AFC West

A key divisional match up in the AFC West kicks off week seven of the NFL season.

State of the Division

Arguably the toughest division in football, the AFC West will likely produce at least two playoff teams. Kansas City has been an offensive explosion since their week one win over the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Rookie running back Kareem Hunt has been money. Ty”freak” Hill is electric and Travis Kelce remains one of the best tight ends in football. Even with the loss to Pittsburgh, Alex Smith’s expertise in running Andy Reid’s dynamic offense efficiently.

Oakland has been teetering following their decimation of the New York Jets. An ailing Derek Carr isn’t playing completely healthy, but the Raiders have to figure it out. The offense has been stagnant and Amari Cooper has put up just 51 yards on nine receptions. Oakland will need Cooper to improve his production and avoid costly drops that keep the offense stalled.

The Denver Broncos defense will keep them in the hunt, but losing at home to the winless New York Giants without Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard is not a good look for the “No Fly Zone” defenders. Denver is tough, but poor offensive production will wear on this defense. The Broncos must figure out how to channel the offensive explosion that happened against Dallas weeks ago.

The Chargers miss San Diego, so much so that every game has the feel of an away game. The new team in Los Angeles isn’t bad team and could have actually won some of the close games they’ve lost this season. Philip Rivers can still sling it and Melvin Gordon can run, and run well. Rookie receiver Mike Williams recorded one catch for 15 yards in his regular season debut in the division win over Oakland last week. The Chargers are hoping Williams can move past the injury an become the wide receiver threat he was drafted to be.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs Kareem Hunt
Photo Credit Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) – The Chiefs look to tighten their grip over the rival Raiders tonight on Thursday Night Football. A few days removed from nearly orchestrating an epic comeback over the Steelers, Kansas City will look to make an example out of Oakland. Reid’s squad has some quality wins under their belt, beating the Patriots, Eagles, Texans and Redskins. The Chiefs are undefeated on the road this season. The momentum will need to continue as Kansas City only has one game in Arrowhead over the next four weeks.

Next four games: @Oakland, Denver, @Dallas and @New York (Giants).

Denver Broncos Von Miller
Photo Credit Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos (3-2)– The Broncos are a quarterback away from being a complete team. The problem is, there is no quarterback on the roster than can have this team playing to its potential. Von Miller and company will have to play lights out defense to compensate for inconsistent quarterback play. Trevor Siemien has had some flashes of brilliance, but often times shows why he was picked in the seventh round. The Broncos defense will need to play at a very high level to stay in playoff contention. Fresh off the bye week, there is no way this Denver team should have dropped one at home to Eli’s Giants.

Next four games: @Los Angeles (Chargers), @Kansas City, @Philadelphia and New England.

Los Angeles Chargers Philip Rivers
Photo Credit Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Chargers (2-4)– The Chargers may not have the best record in the division, but this team is a lot better than what the record reflects. Rivers’ team was a blocked field goal away from sending it to overtime in the Mile High City. Had the game went into OT, the Chargers could have two division wins under their belt at this point in the season. The difference in two of their four losses was a combined four points. Joey Bosa has been productive, already having 5.5 sacks on the year, but he doesn’t even have the most sacks on the team. Melvin Ingram ranks third in the NFL with 7.5, trailing Dallas’s DeMarcus Lawrence (8.5) and Jacksonville’s Calias Campbell(8). Ingram will continue to produce on the defensive side of the ball, and Bosa will follow suit. The under the radar Chargers could find themselves in the mix for a playoff berth if Oakland and Denver struggle.

Next four games: Denver, @New England, @Jacksonville and Buffalo.

Oakland Raiders Derek Carr
Photo Credit Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders (2-4)– The Raiders will go as far as Derek Carr can take them. He clearly was beat up against Washington which was a prelude to the injury suffered in Denver. The Raiders have lost four straight, and must face the division leading Chiefs in primetime tonight. Tonight is a must win for Oakland, otherwise it will mark three division losses and will put them in a tough situation. Navarro Bowman will be a welcomed addition to the silver and black. He can provide a leadership and veteran presence to a defense lacking such. Khalil Mack hasn’t registered a sack in the past two weeks. The Raiders need Mack to find the quarterbacks and add to his seven sacks on the season. The Raiders will hope to knock of Kansas City to keep their heads above water. Oakland will have to contend with the AFC East for the next three weeks.

Next four games: Kansas City, @Buffalo, @Miami and New England.

Next Four Weeks Predicted Standings

Denver has the toughest schedule of the division over the next four weeks. The Broncos will only have one home game and it’s against New England. Denver’s only win may be in the final of the next four games, as they host Tom Brady and the Patriots. Kansas City will stay undefeated on the road and will prove dominance over Denver in Arrowhead. Los Angeles (Chargers) will surprise many. Rivers will lead his team to .500 with another win coming in a revenge game against Denver. Oakland could go either way over the course of the next four games. The Raiders will lose tonight, but how they perform over the rest of the AFC East is a toss-up. Expect Oakland to win just two of the next four, and possibly alone at the bottom of the division.

Kansas City – 9-1

Los Angeles (Chargers)- 5-5

Denver – 4-5

Oakland- 4-6

 

 

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Brandon Morales View All

Hello Sports Fan Entertainment Readers and Followers! My name is Brandon Morales and I - like a lot of you reading this - love sports. Sports consume me. For me, writing about sports is an art. The words used have to paint a picture for the reader. My goal is to put all my sports knowledge to use and SFE is the perfect platform.

Football is my favorite sport. I'm a fan of the Tennessee Titans - since the Houston Oilers days. I also am a fan of the Texas Longhorns - Hook 'Em Horns, baby! I'm also an NBA fan, and am loyal to the Purple and Gold. Lakeshow! I'm new to the Hockey world - as I watched Hockey closely for the first time this past summer. I'm a Nashville Predators fan and look forward to watching them compete for the Stanley Cup this upcoming season.

I also like MMA. Eventually, as SFE grows, I will write a lot about big fights, rising stars, fighters past their prime, etc. But that will be later down the road.

I covered High School Sports during my Junior/Senior year in High School after injuries to both my leg and back prevented me from playing sports. I became a published author for a local newspaper and couldn't believe I was getting paid to write about what I love.

Initially, I had planned to pursue a career in Journalism. I changed my mind, and instead earned my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from New Mexico State University. I began my career working with youth in a Juvenile Corrections facility and utilized my degree to work and help mentor at risk teens. An injury helped me rediscover my passion for writing about sports, and I am grateful to MJ for providing me with the opportunity to share some of my work with sports fans around the world.

Thank you to all readers of SFE and look forward to writing more and more!

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