AFC West Wrap: After Two Games, It's a Wide Open Division!

Raider Card Addict@RaidercardadictSenior Writer ISeptember 21, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 20:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders runs up the middle as Ron Edwards #95 of the Kansas City Chiefs defends during the game at Arrowhead Stadium on September 20, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

If the picture looks crowded, you are seeing it right.

The AFC West, which many thought would provide a repeat of an 8-8 champion to take the glory, has in two weeks produced very little evidence of any team ready to step forward.

Denver, for example, has a 2-0 record. On further review, they beat the Bengals on a miracle catch and also topped the Browns, which ranks up there with beating the Lions. Sure, it's a win, but so is beating a high school football team.

San Diego, which won a squeaker last week over Oakland, was foolish enough to try a near-identical play with 41 seconds left against the Ravens.

The only problem was, something big named Ray Lewis stuffed the runner four yards behind the line of scrimmage. San Diego lost by five, at home.

Oakland, now 1-1, looked sharp on Monday night, losing due to time running out and, by some opinions, faulty camera work. Whatever the reason, the Raiders went to Kansas City and discovered that KC is still a tough place to scratch out a win.

For all the yards that the Chiefs put up, they still didn't have enough in points, losing by three. Maybe Oakland's defense has finally turned the corner...or the ghosts of John Matuszak and Lyle Alzado have possessed a couple of players.

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Kansas City has to feel like the red-headed stepchild. They put up really good numbers against Oakland and led in every category except the important one—the score. Compared to how they played against the Ravens, you have to wonder if the Chiefs will break through eventually or if they are a top five drafting team again.

Going into next week, the matchups could further complicate things. Oakland hosts Denver, San Diego plays host to Miami, and Kansas City travels to Philly.

Each club has its priorities. Denver under its new coach would like a victory in the AFC West to prove they can move on from Mike Shanahan's departure. Since Shanahan owned Oakland for most of his stay in the Mile High City, this would be a good test.

For Oakland, it comes down to proving that the team is ready to contend and play some serious football. While the game today against KC was ugly, it did have one thing that last week didn't: a win.

For San Diego, as players are knocked out and rookies have to fill in the gaps, their team must learn to adapt and not try the same play over and over. Not every team they play is wearing Silver and Black.

As for Kansas City, the team needs to find what worked best from both weeks and put together a complete game. Last season the team had to be ashamed of its performance, getting close in a number of games only to watch them end badly.

In two games so far, they are 0-2, and both were close until the fourth quarter.

This should make for an interesting week coming up.

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