Let’s travel around the AFC West as the Chiefs beat the Raiders in a controversy-filled thriller, Broncos look like hot garbage and Chargers squeak by.
Welcome back to another edition of Around the AFC West as we sit here gloating to the Raiders fans we still unfortunately find in our lives. Yes, the Chiefs pulled out a heart-stopping victory, adding yet another huge comeback to the ever impressive resume of our great Patrick Mahomes. The Raiders leave thinking that even if they play a near perfect game, they still can’t beat Mahomes. Let them remember that the next time they enter Arrowhead.
Before we get to all that, let’s look at the rest of the AFC West before a critical Week 6.
I have almost come to pity the Chargers. A cursed franchise such as theirs becomes almost sad, especially when they have so much talent. Honestly, this team should be really good, but they just cannot stop getting injured.
With the injuries piled up, the Chargers were hoping to head into Week 5 taking on a “less than good” opponent (much like the Texans in Week 4) which would afford them the opportunity to have a game where there would not be quite as much competition. Wrong.
In the words of ESPN:
"“Brandon Staley trusted his gut, the analytics and his offense. He got very lucky.”"
This game came down to the wire after Staley elected to go for it on fourth down with just over one minute left in the game. Herbert tossed a short pass to Mike Williams that fell incomplete and left enough time on the clock for the Browns to get in field goal range and attempt to win it on a last second field goal. The Browns missed. Luck.
Had the Browns made it, we would have seen yet another dumb, head-scratching, only analytic-driven decision from Staley. Look, I think there is a place for analytics, but shouldn’t you be going off the feel of the game? If I think the momentum is on my side, sure, go for that fourth down. If I don’t, I’m punting it. I just don’t think you can look at a book or numbers to really tell you what to do. Staley has made some real mistakes and this could have been yet another.
Regardless, the Chargers squeaked by with a win and remain firmly in second place in the division at 3-2, even with all the injuries. Austin Ekeler was incredible and almost lost me my fantasy football this week when he rushed for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns. They need to keep relying on him while Keenan Allen nurses his injuries and Herbert recovers from his rib cartilage break.
Unfortunately, we are forced to watch a horrible matchup on Monday Night Football between the Chargers and the Broncos next week. I’ll get into it more, but the Russell Wilson experiment is a failure. I fully expect Monday to be a game I shut off at about 7:35 left in the first quarter because the Broncos can’t do anything and the Chargers are running away with it. However, it is a divisional game so maybe I’ll be surprised?