If you have been a long-time reader, you know that over the last few seasons, I’ve done a review of the AFC West each week and have been regularly called a bum or Raider lover for my takes. Well, I know you will be disappointed to know that the AFC West tour is over.
When we were thinking about it, it got boring—I mean, who wants to read about the stranglehold the Chiefs have on the West, the Donkeys being a dumpster fire, the Bolts injuries, and the Raiders’ bowl-cut week after week?
So, this year is going to change. We are going to look more broadly at the NFL because let’s face it, our competition and rivals lie outside the West now. So let’s dive in.
The biggest lesson learned in Week 1
I think the biggest thing we learned in Week 1 is that it lies. Week 1 is a liar. I'll admit I stole this idea from Kyle Brandt of Good Morning Football, but when I read it on Twitter (X? What do we call it now?), it really got me thinking.
I, like many of you, had that slight panic in my gut after the Chiefs lost to the Lions on Thursday Night Football but then Sunday came...
My husband and I live in Kansas and we both enjoy football more than pretty much anything. He, however, is a big college football guy while I am all NFL. Because of that, he finds Sundays where you sit on the couch from 12:00 to 11:00 to be a bit boring—until gambling became legal. Now, he consults me on what games he should bet on or what's considered a "sure thing." Then, he is invested on Sundays and it becomes fun for him. So, I was consulted on a number of games this week and let's just say, our wins were basically non-existent. Week 1 is a liar.
The Bengals began the onslaught of lies. Who in the world would have imagined that Joe Burrow (who secured his bag on Thursday) would throw for less than 100 yards? I do not, personally, think the Browns will do anything this year so I had absolutely picked the Bengals to win. Lo and behold, I was wrong. The first Week 1 lie. Then, the Vikings happened. I can't help but admit that I fell in love with Kirk Cousins, America's Midwestern Dad, during his time on Quarterback. He was wonderful and then his team collapsed playing the Buccaneers. Another lie.
The Raiders and Broncos played each other and the much-hyped Sean Payton-led Broncos fell to the Raiders. I do not think either team is going to be good, but I certainly expected the Broncos to be better than the Raiders. Another lie. The Dolphins and Chargers combined for my favorite Sunday game when their defenses decided against playing or even showing up. Tyreek Hill ran around the field like a man possessed while Tua balled out like he was the second coming of Brett Favre. The Dolphins aren't going to do this week after week after week right? Another lie.
Somehow, Mac Jones and the Patriots were a whisper away from defeating the Eagles. Lies. And then, last night, the Jets watched as their franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with a season-ending Achilles injury and proceeded to pick off Josh Allen three times which led to an overtime punt return walk-off touchdown. Lies, lies, lies.
Look, at the end of the day, everyone will regress to the mean. The Bengals are not as bad as they showed on Sunday. Joe Burrow became the highest-paid player in the NFL for a reason. The Vikings will ultimately come back and lose in the first round of the playoffs like they always do. The Raiders and the Broncos are going to battle for the bottom of the AFC West, but it will be the Raiders at the end of the day while the Broncos remain just out of reach of a draft pick that will actually help them.
Tua is not going to throw for 5 million yards every week, and while Tyreek thinks he will hit 2000 yards this year, there is a reason why no one has done it before—plus he has to compete with Jaylen Waddle for receptions. The Chargers are not always going to lose close games; they are better than they showed on Sunday and a real threat in the AFC.
The Patriots are bad and will show that as the season drags on while the Eagles will be fine and start their march back to spectacular playoff matchups with either the 49ers or Cowboys. The Jets are cursed and will end up with a trash season, and the Bills will be fake contenders until they get blown out by someone in the playoffs because Josh Allen throws 23 interceptions in quarter one of Wild Card Weekend.
For the Chiefs, the wide receivers had a historically terrible day. That is not going to happen every week. Travis Kelce will be back, and Chris Jones will return to action. Charles Omenihu will serve his suspension and take the field in six more games. We also still have Patrick Mahomes. Things will be fine because, let me repeat it for those in the back, WEEK 1 IS A LIAR.
Other NFL points of impact
Let's also talk about two pretty impactful items this week: first, Joe Burrow's payday. We knew this was coming and he deserves it. But what does this mean for the Bengals long term? We thank Mahomes daily for his team-friendly deal because it allows the Chiefs to pay other guys. Did Burrow do this because they are going to have to pay Chase and he won't be cheap. Long term, are the Bengals going to be able to maintain their talent level when they are paying that much for their quarterback? I just don't see it.
The other impactful item is Aaron Rodgers. I really thought this was the year we would see the Mahomes v. Rodgers game. DO THE FOOTBALL GODS HATE FUN? It seems like he will be out for the season and I am truly disappointed. The Jets were a fun story and made all the more relevant by Rodgers. What a cursed franchise.
All I know, at the end of the day, is that this was a strange Week 1. Props to the script writers for making it interesting and I certainly cannot wait for Week 2. Go Chiefs!