By now you've heard the news that former Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio has been relieved of his coaching duties, and while it's still unclear who will eventually take over the reins, his departure was the final chapter in a year that saw the team lose its final four games of the season. Unfortunately, the Raiders were unable to finish the year on a high note by defeating a division rival in the season finale, as the Los Angeles Chargers trumped the Silver and Black 30-10.
It may have been a dismal end to an otherwise hopeful season, but the Raiders weren't the only team to fall short of their goals. With the regular season officially over, let's take a look around the division in this week's edition of the AFC West Update.
After going 5-11, the team has announced that it will retain Head Coach Vance Joseph after one season at the helm, and look for improvement in year two. It's hard to blame Joseph completely for the team's struggles, considering the Broncos haven't been able to find a capable quarterback since Peyton Manning, who retired two seasons ago after winning Super Bowl 50.
We've been over this time and time again, but Broncos signal-callers Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch – who could still use some more development before determining whether he's an NFL-caliber player – and Brock Osweiler weren't able to lead the team to a winning record.
It was announced Wednesday that USC quarterback Sam Darnold and UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen had declared for the NFL draft, so it's possible one of them could end up becoming the Broncos' solution to remedy their current problem.
Kansas City Chiefs
Well, for the second time in two years the Chiefs have won the AFC West, and are set to participate in Wild Card weekend against the Tennessee Titans this Saturday. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wants to see Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota and Co., pull out the win over the Chiefs, but I expect it to be a good game.
The Chiefs finished the regular season ranked fifth in overall offense, posting 375.4 yards per game, but allowed defensively the 28th most yards per game to opposing offenses with 365.1 YPG. In an offense loaded with talent, the Titans struggled this year, finishing the regular season 23rd averaging 314 YPG.
In the brisk temperatures of Kansas City, these two will square off at 1:35 p.m. PST Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen, man, those guys were firing on all cylinders Sunday.
Not only did Allen set the Chargers season-record for receptions against the Raiders (102), but his 133 receiving yards helped Rivers almost throw for 400 yards. No. 17 finished the afternoon with 387 passing yards, three touchdowns, and no turnovers.
The Raiders had the opportunity to spoil the Bolts playoff bid, but the team failed to accomplish that; however, even though the Chargers were in the hunt, the Buffalo Bills kicked them out of the race as the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Baltimore Ravens on a final, game-winning drive.
So what once looked like the possibility of making it into the postseason, was shattered, and the Chargers now find themselves on the outside looking in – shame isn't it?