Welcome back to the season, Chiefs Kingdom! After a hiatus that saw a recovery from a knee injury, I’m back with the AFC West weekly roundup. For those of you that care and read (thanks), the plan is to post this column on Wednesdays throughout the season to keep us up to date and informed on what is going on with our rivals. It’s the important stuff like injuries, breaking news, anything you need to know as we look ahead at the next week and the ultimate AFC West crown.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in…
When was the last time the AFC West left Week 1 undefeated? I can’t imagine it has been recently given how bad the Broncos are. Regardless, are we looking at one of the better divisions in football this year? People are talking all about the NFC West being the best, and I don’t think I have an argument against that, but maybe we can just say that the WEST is BEST.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers finally did it: They didn’t “Charger” at the end of a game. I truly believe it is the fact that they have a quarterback that isn’t sleep deprived from caring for his 9,000 children. Justin Herbert proved again on Sunday why he was the Offensive Rookie of the Year last year. His poise as the team was staring down a close game with the Washington Football Team demonstrates his skill and clutch-ness (yes, that is a word). I will also note that Washington lost their quarterback to a hip subluxation during the game which certainly helped the Chargers pull out a victory.
I had serious questions heading into this season with the change in the head coach. Stability is so important for young quarterbacks, but Herbert overcame that. Will it continue throughout the season? I doubt it. There will be growing pains, but this has to be encouraging for a Chargers team that consistently wins the preseason Super Bowl and goes on to break their 45 fans’ hearts.
The Chargers are a team littered with talent and have real aspirations to challenge the Chiefs and at the very least make the playoffs. But, we have been here before. I want to see more than one week before I make a final judgment. Regardless, this is a step in the right direction.
Notable injuries from this week came to right tackle Brian Bulaga and safety Nasir Adderley. Bulaga suffered a back injury and is considered (cover your ears, Chiefs Kingdom) day-to-day. There has been no update to Adderley’s status following his exit with a shoulder injury.
Moving forward, the Chargers will want to continue their excellent protection of Herbert because that made the difference. Washington has an outstanding defensive front—one of the best in football—and their line held up and allowed Herbert to carry the team to a 20-16 victory.
Next week, the Chargers play the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have a fantastic offense. I know this because my Cowboys-loving husband forces me to watch them. Their defense, however, is bad. I expect the game to be high scoring with a lot of big plays. Maybe I won’t fall asleep this week?