Black Monday was a little over a week ago, and the fallout for several NFL coaches has been interesting to watch. One by one, teams around the league have hired the new faces of their coaching staff, hoping they’ll be the next Sean McVay. The Green Bay Packers hired 39-year-old Matt LaFleur, and the Arizona Cardinals had one of the most-bizarre hirings in recent memory with the hiring of 39-year-old Kliff Kingsbury, a man who most recently served as the offensive coordinator for the USC Trojans, for about a month.
One AFC West team, however, decided to go with a veteran coach with a knack for defensive schemes; we’ll get into all that and more in this edition of the AFC West Update.
Vance Joseph’s reign in Denver didn’t last long, and the team quickly decided at the end of the season to go in a different direction. The Broncos announced Thursday they had officially come to terms with former Chicago Bears Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio. A well-respected individual in the NFL community, Fangio has coached some of the best defenses in football, and it’s the Broncos’ hope that he’ll be able to revitalize a Broncos defense that was once at the top of the mountain.
Fangio has been a defensive coordinator in the NFL since 1995, starting with the Carolina Panthers, but this is the first time in his career he’s been hired as a Head Coach.
Not only will the team make Fangio it’s head coach, but they’ve decided to bring back former Broncos Head Coach, and Super Bowl Champion, Gary Kubiak to oversee the offense. Kubiak has spent the last year or so as an advisor to the Broncos front office, but it seems as though he’s missed the sidelines.
Kansas City Chiefs
It’s time for the Chiefs to prove whether or not their playoff struggles are behind them.
This weekend they’ll host the red-hot Indianapolis Colts at Arrowhead Stadium in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, and I expect it to be a shootout between Andrew Luck and Patrick Mahomes. The duo led the NFL in touchdown passes this year, after a record-breaking season from Mahomes, and a remarkable comeback season for Luck. Both quarterbacks have their teams poised for deep postseason runs, but only one will leave the field Saturday the victor.
It’ll be the first playoff game of Mahomes’ young career, and even though he was electric in the regular season, it’s a whole new ball game in the playoffs. This will be a game worth watching this weekend.
Los Angeles Chargers
Can Philip Rivers defeat Tom Brady?
Despite how long both of these future Hall of Famers have been in the league, Rivers has never defeated Brady. The all-time record when these two face off favors Brady 7-0. Brady might be Rivers’ kryptonite, but No. 17 is determined to make his first Super Bowl appearance this year. The New England Patriots are undefeated at home this season, but the Chargers are undefeated on the road, which means something has to give. The Bolts defeated the Baltimore Ravens on the road last week, knocking off the best defense in the NFL. The Patriots haven’t felt like the juggernaut they’ve been in years past, but I know better than to bet against Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
I think it’s anyone’s game, but it would be an even bigger victory for Rivers if he’s able to prevent Brady from trying to add another ring to his résumé.