As the Broncos host the Houston Texans and attempt to bounce back from the Monday night loss in Atlanta, the other three teams in the AFC West have difficult battles ahead of them today as well. The Raiders and Chiefs are still looking for their first win when the Steelers travel to Oakland and the Chiefs head south to New Orleans, while the Chargers will try to remain unbeaten when they host the Atlanta Falcons. Continue reading for my thoughts of those games.
Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints: When the 2012 schedule was released in April, I would have believed that the Chiefs could be 0-2 entering this game but I would have had a hard time believing the Saints would have that same record. Week three finds both teams struggling and winless. Because I am not a Chiefs fan, I gladly watched the entire game last week as the Buffalo Bills easily handled the Chiefs 35-17. If the Buffalo Bills can explode like they did against the Chiefs, the Saints very well may be licking their chops as they look to today’s game, despite the outcomes of the last two games. Both teams need a win – the question is which team is going to rise up and finally turn the corner? Because the Saints are at home, and Drew Brees is Drew Brees, I would have to say that the advantage goes to the Saints but you never know in the NFL. I will watch the game to see if the Chiefs fall to 0-3, while I pass the time until Broncos kickoff.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders: No doubt, the Steelers hope this road trip to face an AFC West team ends in a much better way than it did two weeks ago, when they travelled to Denver, Colorado and came up on the short end of the stick, losing 31-19. The Raiders are coming off a 35-13 thrashing at the hands of the Miami Dolphins, while the Steelers are one week removed from a 27-10 victory over the New York Jets. The NFL schedule makers are not helping the Raiders because hosting the Steelers after a big loss is by no means, an advantage to the Raiders. Regardless of their record, I am sure Raider fans in The Black Hole will be 100% ready to “welcome” Big Ben and the rest of the Steelers to northern California. Considering the Raiders visit Denver in week four, I am hoping for a knockdown, drag out AFC slugfest that finds Pittsburgh on the winning side. That being said, from a fans perspective, do I really want the Raiders coming to Denver at 0-3 desperate for their first win or 1-2 with some comfort because they got that very important first win?
Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers: Assuming they don’t tie, one of these teams will get their very first loss of the 2012 season today. Last week the Chargers thrashed the Tennessee Titans 38-10, while the Falcons escaped their home opener with a 27-21 win over the Broncos on Monday night. I am sure that Philip Rivers has watched the video of the Falcons defense against Manning and will be prepared for any type of scheme they attempt to throw at him. Given the attention that Manning and the Broncos have gotten, not only in the division, but league wide, you know Rivers will love to get a win over the Falcons, when the Broncos couldn’t. The team that has better quarterback performance will probably go to 3-0. I will be cheering for Matt Ryan today because even though it is only week three, every time the Chargers lose, it is an advantage for the Broncos.
Enjoy week three Broncos country!