It was a wild week in the AFC West.
Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian made his first NFL start and led his team to victory over the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl 50 rematch. The Kansas City Chiefs squeezed out a win in overtime against the San Diego Chargers, and to add insult to injury the Bolts suffered the loss of a key player.
With so many headlines to catch up on, let's take a look at what's happened in the AFC West.
The Super Bowl 50 champs defended their title under the leadership of a quarterback making his first NFL start.
Siemian wasn't assumed to be the starting quarterback during the offseason, or during training camp, but he appeared ready to play, and looked comfortable in the pocket. The signal-caller posted 178 yards through the air, to go along with one passing touchdown, and two interceptions. His numbers might not be eye-popping, but he served his purpose, and helped the Broncos get the "W."
After losing a few players in free agency this offseason, questions started forming about whether or not the Broncos defense would continue to be a dominant force in 2016. The defense looked unfazed, and picked up where they left off a season ago.
Outside linebackers Von Miller and Demarcus Ware had their unit in mid-season form, each finishing the game with one sack and three tackles. The defense found ways to attack and rattle Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. The Auburn-product was pressured, hit, and knocked down on several occasions.
Going forward, it'll be interesting to see if Siemian is able to keep the Broncos offense clicking. Questions about the defense seem to have dissipated, and it should continue to be a force for the remainder of the season.
According to DenverBroncos.com, defensive end Vance Walker underwent surgery on Tuesday. The eight-year veteran originally tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during practice a month ago.
Kansas City Chiefs
Last Sunday, the Chiefs found themselves down 21 points to the San Diego Chargers with 6:02 left in the third quarter. Not an ideal situation for a team to be in, but the Chiefs managed to surmount a 21-point deficit to the Chargers. Quarterback Alex Smith got the team back on track with a couple of passing touchdowns to wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jeremy Maclin.
After scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter and tying the game, the Chiefs forced overtime at Arrowhead Stadium, and closed out the win. The comeback was the largest in Chiefs' history, and proved to be an important win against a division rival.
Most notably, the absence of star running back Jamaal Charles didn't seem to affect the team. Backup running back Spencer Ware picked up the slack and made a large contribution on offense. Ware turned 11 rushing attempts into 70 yards, and grabbed seven receptions for 129 yards.
Ware might be in line to serve as the Chiefs' starting running back again this Sunday, considering Charles is still recovering from his ACL injury suffered last season. According to Chiefs.com, Reid told the media on Wednesday that Charles would participate on the scout team for the day, and that the priority is to get him fully healthy.
The Chiefs rallied back on Sunday, but with injury concerns they'll be worth watching to see if they can stay afloat.
San Diego Chargers
The Bolts just can't catch a break.
After dealing with the drama of Joey Bosa's contract negotiation all offseason, training camp, and preseason the team seemed to finally have it figured out. They were able to come to terms on a deal with Bosa, but the defensive end had already missed significant time with his teammates and coaches.
Last week, the Ohio State-product suffered a minor hamstring injury, little did the team know this would be the least of its worries. On Sunday, the Chargers suffered a major blow to the offense when wide receiver Keenan Allen went down in the second quarter of regulation.
Allen was injured on a non-contact play, and required immediate medical attention. The fourth-year player was carted off the field and was understandably emotional. After assuming the worst, the diagnosis confirmed the team's theory that Allen has torn his ACL.
The young wideout has gained a lot of praise over the past few seasons, and was expected to put up big numbers this season. According to Chargers.com, Allen will be out the entire season, and in his stead the team has activated Bosa to the 53-man roster.
Even though Bosa has been activated, NFL.com notes that the rookie is unlikely to make his NFL debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday, or in Week 3.
One positive takeaway for the Chargers is sophomore running back Melvin Gordon. Gordon went all last season without a touchdown, and in his first game of the 2016 season scored two. He had a lot of buzz coming out of Wisconsin, and appears to be coming into his own.
The Chargers will need to regroup after the loss of Allen and get Bosa up to speed. The Bolts will face the Jaguars this Sunday in San Diego at 1:25 p.m.