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AFC West Update: A Look Around The Division After Week 1


It was a wild week in the AFC West.

Highly regarded as the toughest division in the NFL, the teams did not disappoint in Week 1. The Kansas City Chiefs managed to pull off something many thought they couldn't, the Oakland Raiders won an important game on the road, and the Denver Broncos went head up with a division rival in the Los Angeles Chargers.

Let's recap what went on in Week 1 of 2017.


Denver Broncos

What a finish in the Mile High City.

After leading 24-7 through three quarters of play, the Broncos allowed the Los Angeles Chargers to come back in the fourth quarter, which made things interesting. The Broncos turned the ball over on back-to-back possessions, as quarterback Trevor Siemian threw an interception, and running back Jamaal Charles fumbled on the next drive. Both turnovers opened the door for a determined Bolts squad, and a savvy veteran in quarterback Philip Rivers, who took advantage of the opportunity.

While the Chargers tightened the score with a pair of touchdowns, bringing the contest to a narrow margin of 24-21, and held all the momentum, the waning moments of the matchup belonged to the Broncos. Despite allowing the Chargers to get in field goal range after a defensive pass interference call on Bradley Roby, the Broncos special teams unit came up clutch.

With five seconds left in regulation, Chargers kicker Younghoe Koo lined up for what would've been the game-tying field goal, but Broncos defensive end Shelby Harris had other plans.

Upon the snap, Harris burst through the Chargers front and reached out to block the field goal attempt, and was successful. In a wild turn of events, the Broncos managed to walk away from their primetime game against a division rival with a win.

We'll see if their last-minute heroics continue this Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.


Kansas City Chiefs

I'll be frank, like many other people, I didn't expect the Chiefs to pull off an upset against the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots – let alone to do it in Foxborough, Mass. It was a strong effort from the Chiefs, no doubt about it, but the performance from rookie running back Kareem Hunt was impressive.

On the first carry of his young NFL career, the former University of Toledo Rocket fumbled, which would leave anyone in their debut rattled; however, Hunt rebounded in a big way.

Once running back Spencer Ware was ruled out for the year with a knee injury, Head Coach Andy Reid dubbed Hunt the bellcow, and he proved to be capable of the workload. With his first carry out of sight, and out of mind, Hunt took his next 16 carries for 148 yards, and one touchdown. He also added five receptions for 98 yards and two receiving touchdowns. Of the Chiefs total 42 points, the rookie back accounted for half of them.

It's clear the Chiefs have a new workhorse in the backfield, and it'll be intriguing to see how the rest of the year turns out for the 22-year-old. The Chiefs will host the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.


Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers Monday Night Football game against the Broncos didn't go according to plan, but the team showed some resilience, and second-year defensive end Joey Bosa picked up where he left off after a quality rookie season.

According to Pro Football Focus, Bosa ranked in the top 20 edge defenders of Week 1 with a grade of 81.3, but fellow teammate and pass rusher Melvin Ingram fell in the top five with a grade of 89.1. The duo combined for three sacks, six quarterback hits, ten tackles, and three tackles for loss.

The outing might have belonged to the Broncos, but it was Bosa and Ingram who made their presence known on defense. If the pair of defenders can continue to terrorize quarterbacks and offensive lines, the Bolts defensive unit can cause a lot of problems.

This Sunday, the Chargers will play their first official game at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles, and will square up with the Miami Dolphins in their first game of the 2017 season.

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