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AFC West Recap - The Chiefs Are Great And Vic Fangio STINKS

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It was a great week for the Kansas City Chiefs and a miserable one for everyone else. In fact, pretty much the entire AFC sucks ass except for 3 teams. We may as well fast forward to playoffs now.

The Chiefs (3-0) allllllmost let one get away from them vs an awesome Baltimore team, but held them off for a final score of 33-28.

Baltimore Ravens v Kansas City Chiefs

Despite being without Tyreek Hill, Damien Williams AND Eric Fisher, I wasn’t overly concerned about this teams offensive production going into this game. I don’t think that is me being a homer, It’s simply a testament to both the depth of the roster and the pure talent level of one Patrick Mahomes. They came out of the gates firing, scoring on 4 of their first 5 possessions. Baltimore seems to produce nothing but incredible linebackers, and Reid tested them early and often with some great routes. Substitutions Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson continued to prove their worth, with the former bringing in an 83-yard touchdown and the later taking in 3 of his 4 targets for 43 yards and an insane one-handed score (very nearly a second as well). Kelce also proved too much for their backers to handle, bringing in a team-high 7 receptions for 89 yards. LeSean McCoy and Darrel Williams split the day’s carries and had about the same level of production on the ground, which is good for the team in case Damien Williams misses any more time. Mahomes finishes the day with 3 touchdowns and  374 yards on 27/37 passing with a 132 QBR. It was his 13th game with 300+ passing yards, breaking Kurt Warners record number through the first 20 games of a QB’s career.

On defense, Frank Clark continued to meld into the defense with his first sack as a Chief and 3 total tackles. Emmanuel Ogbah and Damien Wilson added 1.5 and .5 sacks respectively, which is no easy feat vs Lamar Jackson and Baltimore’s line. Honey Badger also had a coming out party, knocking away 3 passes throughout the game. Although he did get absolutley YUKED by Lamar Jackson en route to a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. Not good, Tyrran! Kendall Fuller played well with 8 tackles, but also allowed a 4th down desperation heave to Seth Roberts. All things considered, they did a great job containing Lamar Jackson even when it came at the expense of giving up chunk yards to Mark Ingram. Spagnuolo did a great job preparing game plan that was very different sort of team than they played in Oakland last week.

Notes: Par for the course, baby. It’s evidently clear that its going to be an AFCC rematch between them and the pats based off the rest of the AFC’s performance. Just focus on finding a way to score on the Patriots defense, which has literally not given up a touchdown through three games. They go to Detroit this Sunday to play the undefeated Lions.

Injuries: Tyreek Hill, Damien Williams, Greg Senat, Eric Fisher , Nick Allegretti , Martinas Rankin and Khalen Saunders were all inactive.

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before, but the Chargers (1-2) blew a lead in the 4th quarter, had one final drive to tie it up and failed. Final score: Houston wins 27-20

Houston Texans v Los Angeles Chargers

This Chargers team is quickly approaching late-stage  Norv Turner/Mike McCoy territory where the entire team is injured and literally every game comes down to a fourth quarter drive. A lot of this has to do with how Anthony Lynn is choosing to call plays in the second half of games. Rivers played a solid game considering he was on the run literally the entire game. He finished 31/46 with 318 yards and 2 touchdowns, but was hit 12 times and taken down 5 times (3 times in the second half including a strip sack). The offensive line was penalized twice in HUGE moments which essentially lost them the game. Dan Feeney had a holding call from 6 yards out that nullified a Justin Jackson touchdown, followed immediately by a 9-yard sack which forced them to kick a field goal. On the last drive of the game, Trent Scott had a holding call that nullified a 3rd down conversion, which put them into a 3rd & long scituation which they failed to convert, ending the game. One person you cannot blame this game on is Keenan Allen, who had one of the best games of his career. he hauled in 13 of 17 targets for an insane 183 yard sand 2 scores. Ekeler and Jackson were used without consistency, the former finishing with 36 yards on the ground and the latter with 26.  Ekeler got ZERO targets in the second half, but 7 rushes (23 yards), and Jackson got 1 rush for -6. Here’s the thing: Ekeler is a great receiver but struggles at rushing, Jackson is great at rushing but struggles receiving. So what is so confusing about this equation?

On defense, they were playing well until they fucked everything up. Rookie UDFA Roderic Teamer got the start at SS, and was playing with great energy but also made a LOT of mistakes. Houston’s first big play of the day was a flea flicker to Kenny Stills which Teamer bit on HARD. The Texans scored right after with TE Darren Fells running right into Teamer’s zone without him reacting to it. He later made first contact with Carlos Hyde on his TD rush about 3 yards from the endzone but was pushed in. Teamer was later outsprinted by TE Jordan Akins on his first score and was later blocked for 15-yards by 150lbs Stills for 10-yards downfield on Akins second score. Again, I love the energy, but he had a negative role in every single Houston score. Bosa got involved again with a half sack and a nice TFL, and Mebane had a very well played sack as well. Their gameplan to start the game was great and perfectly contained Watson within the pocket, but they sort of gave up pressuring him. According to Aaron Reiss, Deshaun Watson faced pressure on only 13.9% of his dropbacks, the lowest mark of his entire career. Awesome!

Notes: They suck. Lynn’s gameplan going into this year has no room for error or injury and it is showing BAD. They have to ADAPT! They go Miami to hopefully get an easy win on Sunday.

Injuries: Cortez Broughton, Easton Stick, Michael Badgley, Chris Peace, Michael Davis, Emeke Egbule and Hunter Henry were inactive. Virgil Green left the game and didn’t return.

The Vic Fangio lead defense (0-3) failed to tally a single sack for the third straight game and fell to the Packers 27-16.

Denver Broncos v Green Bay Packers

This….is becoming hard to watch. Flacco had to struggle hard to get anything going thanks to his porous offensive line (6 sacks, 7 hits). He finished 20/29 with 219 yards and a really bad pick. A positive takeaway is that both Courtland Sutton and Philip Lindsay looked to be very much back. I’ve been scratching my head as to why Lindsay hasn’t been unleashed yet this year considering his success last season, and this was the game they first really used him. He totalled 132 yards and 2 scores off 26 total touches, and I’m pretty sure the reason Fangio even gave him a shot was because Freeman went down with injury for a spell. This SHOULD be the offensive game plan every day! He’s even moderatly better than Freeman in pass pro!

On defense, I don’t even know what to say anymore. Maybe Fangio has just lost whatever touch he had at defense, because through three weeks the Broncos are LITERALLY THE ONLY TEAM IN THE NFL WITHOUT A SINGLE SACK! Or a turnover for that matter! Unless I’m going fucking insane, Von Miller and Bradley Chubb are still on the roster, right??? If the Vikings could sack Rodgers twice and the Bears got to him 5 times, this team should get at LEAST one. The defensive line was muscled off the goal line for two Aaron Jones TDs and Marquez Valdes-Scantling sort of got lucky on a 40-yard strike. Basically everyone stopped playing for a second because of a neutral zone infraction, and in that second he blew past Kareem Jackson into the endzone. That is what it is, but they were otherwise better than I expected vs a talent line Rodgers. Bottom line: They need fucking pressure.

Notes: PRESSURE! They host the man the myth the LEGEND Gardner Minshew II and the Jaguars on Sunday.

Injuries: River Cracraft, Bryce Callahan, Andy Janovich, Joe Jones, Alexander Johnson, Ja’Wuan Jones and Mike Purcell were all inactive. Derek Wolfe went down in the 2nd quarter and didn’t return.

The Raiders (1-2) are a team in the National Football League that lost 14-34 to the Vikings on Sunday.

Oakland Raiders v Minnesota VikingsOn offense, there is literally nothing to take away other than the fact that Darren Waller can really play. He’s stepped right into the Jared Cook role seamlessly, finishing with a T1 league high 13 catches this week and 134 yards. JJ Nelson scored on what felt like the leagues 200th flea flicker of the day, and Tyrell Williams took in a slant for 6 as well. Carr struggled to stay upright, getting sacked 4 times and ended 27/34, 242 yards 2 TDs and a pick to Harrison Smith. Gruden just seemed sorta lifeless, even punting the ball from midfield with the half coming to a close. What’s going on, Jon???

On defense, there is maybe even less to say than for the offense. Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison combined for 168 yards on the ground and 2 touchdowns, not good! Cook shook 5 Raiders out of their boots on 25-yard rush that made them look like they were playing on skates. Their success on the ground helped limit Kirk Cousins tendency to make mistakes, and he only ended up throwing the ball 21 times. I would have thought the general game plan would be to focus on the run and let Kirk play himself into a bind, but they might just not have the talent level to execute something like that as it stands.

Notes: It’s probably just time to tank. The entire conference is in disarray so there is no better point to start the race to the bottom. The Raiders go to Indy on Sunday to start an away stretch.

Injuries: Trevor Davis, Ryan Grant, Gabe Jackson, Dwayne Harris, DeShone Kizer, Corey Liuget and Davis Sharpe were all inactive. Marquel Lee, Burfict and Nick Morrow all left the game at separate points.