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Around The AFC West: Week 1

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The good news for Chiefs fans is that both of the other AFC West teams looked flat and revealed holes in their roster and game planning. Better yet, both lost.

The Raiders were the obvious worst of the bunch. The quotes from the Raiders side all noted their lack of preparation and detail against Jeff Fisher's Titans, revealing both the underrated nature of Fisher's staff and coaching talent and the continued ineptitude of a Raiders club who seemingly overcame such woes with a steady if not strong off-season. The typically stout defense of the Raiders gave up incredible numbers in both the running and passing defense, making Vince Young look like he deserved the hype and Chris Johnson was, well, Chris Johnson. After adding guys like Lamarr Houston and Rolando McClain to an already talented unit, the results were surprising.

But that's nothing compared to the quarterback position. Jason Campbell played like JaMarcus Russell, although obviously that won't continue for a full season. Still it seems that solving the Raiders woes at the quarterback position might not mean simply getting a steady hand. In this offense, they might need to go all in with a top flight draft pick to finally shore up the position instead of hoping a journeyman-type will do. Not that Campbell ever played anywhere but Washington, but the point is that teams eventually seem to decide they must go all in, albeit with mixed results. The Vikes grew tired of Tarvaris Jackson's slow growth curve and went all in on Brett Favre. The Bears did the same with Jay Cutler. You can shrug your shoulders at the mixed results between the teams. One works and the other doesn't, but the Raiders might need to shock the system if this continues.

For the Chiefs, this means that the Raiders might not be the sexy divisional sleeper pick that many NFL writers believed they might be. Albeit it's only one game, but the Raiders offensive line needs such work that it might shut down their running game and Jason Campbell's ability to take the reigns and help mature a young receiving corps. And any defense left out on the field for that long will end up giving up the points in the end.

As for the Broncos, I think it's more about the Jaguars being a much more formidable opponent than anyone is giving them credit for. They got laughed at for their 2010 draft haul (with Top 10 pick Tyson Alualu receiving a Mario Williams-like collective sneer). Yet with one sack in his first game, the team might have the last laugh after all. Yet David Garrard had his best game in two years, so the Jags might have revealed holes in the Denver secondary. At the very least, without Elvis Dumervil, the lack of a legitimate pass rush will allow quarterbacks to stay in the pocket and deliver the throws needed to move the chains.

It was also a sloppy game that showed the Jaguars were better mentally prepared for the season opener. The Broncos had more first downs, more yards, more time of possession. There was no reason they couldn't have won the ballgame. But two turnovers will hurt you and seven penalties ended up killing momentum a few times. Those are correctable mistakes, so I would think the Broncos will be a better team as the season goes on.

Surprisingly, Brandon Lloyd came from nowhere to have 117 yards receiving, so perhaps he's a surprise candidate to adequately replace Brandon Marshall. The Broncos needed some receiver to step it up alongside a stale running game and it seems they found it. Knowshon Moreno continued to underwhelm with only 60 yards, but when Kyle Orton is throwing nearly 300 yards in the air, you can get away with that. In the end, Denver would be 1-0 if they simply would have executed better in pass protection and avoided needless penalties. Even after a loss, the team still looks like a formidable opponent who will give the Chiefs a real contest in both divisional showdowns.