Analysis

AFC West : Broncos and Chargers show they can still compete on any given Sunday

The AFC West is pretty competitive this season. The Kansas City Chiefs are still the first of the division with 7-1. However, The Las Vegas Raiders are performing well enough to grasp a 4-3 so far, and a surprising division win against the Chiefs.

Two young quarterbacks are competing against each other in the AFC West (because Mahomes at this point almost looks like a veteran), with Drew Lock from the Broncos and Justin Herbert from the L.A Chargers.

After defeating the Los Angeles Chargers 31-30 in Week 8, the Denver Broncos jumped above their division rivals in AFC West standings.

Here’s a look at the current division standings going into Week 9:

Team    Record Win Percentage

Kansas City Chiefs           7-1         .875

Las Vegas Raiders            4-3         .571

Denver Broncos               3-4         .429

Los Angeles Chargers     2-5         .286

After facing the Atlanta Falcons next week, Denver will go on the road to face the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 10.

Justin Herbert is impressing more and more every week, he looks like the real deal, and a worthy heir of Philip Rivers in Los Angeles. With a 2-5 record so far, it does not really reflect the performance of the Chargers talented young quarterback. No doubt he will remain the face of the franchise and future games against Patrick Mahomes will be worth watching.

The Chargers enter this Sunday’s game against the Raiders with a whole month of lackluster performances and missteps. Those lost leads have led to five Chargers losses by a total of 19 points. The whole team is pretty upset to lose their leads almost every game, and understandably so, coach Lynn has to deal with it to finish up the season with dignity.

However, Herbert, the No. 6 overall pick from Oregon, became the first player in NFL history with 15 touchdown passes and 1,500 yards in his first six career games. Quite an achievement! His 15 scoring passes in six career games also tied a league record.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden has declared about Herbert: “He’s further along than most rookies. He’s been well-schooled, well-trained … and he’s a problem. This young man is a problem for everybody in the AFC. He’s off to a great start.”

The Denver Broncos, on the other side, with Drew Lock at the helm have been criticized throughout the beginning of the season. The duo of Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon continues to impress, but it is somehow not enough to pile up wins this season.

Against the Chargers this weekend, Lock went 14-of-18 passing for 155 yards with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, finishing by a 14-play, 81-yard drive in the final minutes to beat Los Angeles. It was the type of performance that can win over the Denver crowd, still looking for the new “Peyton Manning”.

He almost did nothing for the first half, but had a monster comeback after coming back from the half time.

Drew Lock made Denver Broncos history on Sunday when he led his team to a win over the Chargers in a dramatic fashion. Lock became the third Broncos’ quarterback to make a big comeback, being down by 10 or more points at halftime and still be outscored in the third quarter.

It was quite a performance, and although he might be criticized for his lack of results, he showed his mad skills on Sunday.

Although the Chiefs are well above the Chargers and the Broncos, both teams have shown they can compete. Besides, division games are always unpredictable.

It will be fun to see in future games during the regular season.

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