The AFC West race is off and running and the 2011 version did not start as favorable for the Kansas City Chiefs as the 2010 campaign.
Last season the Chiefs dispatched of the Chargers on Monday Night Football while the Raiders and Broncos lost to the Titans and Jaguars respectively.
This season, the West figures to be much tighter.
Recaps and the standings after the jump.
The Chargers were victorious in their opener, defeating the Vikings 24-17. The Charger offense looked dominate, and Philip Rivers threw the ball 48 times, completing 33 for 385 yards and two touchdowns. He did throw two picks.
The only good news for KC fans is that the San Diego special teams appeared to pick up right where they left off in 2010, allowing Percy Harvin to take the opening kickoff back for a touchdown.
Truth be told, the Chargers looked a lot like they did in 2010. In a game where Donovan McNabb was 7/15 for 39 yards and Rivers threw for over 300, this game should have been a blowout.
The difference is, of course, that the Chargers won.
In Denver, the Broncos and Raiders squared off. One of them had to win and the victor would be rewarded with being placed in a first-place tie with the Chargers in the AFC West.
Truth be told it was a closer game than I thought it would be. It didn’t start until after 10 on the east coast so my ass was in bed but it was the Raiders coming out on top after a late charge.
Oakland QB Jason Campbell was not spectacular, completing 13 passes for 108 yards, a TF and a pick. Fortunately for Raider Nation, he didn’t need to be any more than efficient as Darren McFadden trounced the Broncos to the tune of 150 yards on 22 carries.
The Broncos looked sloppy, particularly on the ground. They managed only 38 total yards on the ground and Knowshon Moreno is looking more and more like a bust by the day. The Broncos also fumbled four times, losing two.
The Raiders eked out a victory, 23-20.
And of course, we know what happened in Kansas City Sunday.
The Chargers looked the best of all four teams Sunday but they were far from perfect. The Raiders seem as though they may struggle in the QB department but as long as they can run the ball and play tough defense, they should be able to hang around.
Still, it’s just one week. If the Chiefs come out and look sharp against the Lions, much will be forgotten.
Then again, I said the same thing heading into last week’s game.