The AFC West is the best division in football (And it's not even close)
After only two weeks of football is a little bit tough to grade anything. Most teams are still finding their groove and two games may not be enough to tell who is going where. However, one thing that is clear as glass is which division is the toughest one, and that's the AFC West.
Why? I'll tell you why.
The combined record of the 4 teams inside the division is a league best of 6-2 (And it really should be 7-1, but the Chargers are the Chargers). The AFC West’s overall points differential is an amazing +80, the second best point differential belongs to the NFC South with a +39, that's a large gap between number one and number two. Of the 3 undefeated teams; only the Raiders haven't defeated a team that made the playoffs last season (But they did beat the Titans, who should win their division this year). So, as a whole, there is no argument about the AFC West being the best division of the NFL.
But, sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. So let's take a look to each team individually to see if the division still holds up as the best.
This one is easy. The Chiefs as of right now are in the conversation for the best team in the entire league. They torched the Patriots in opening night at Foxborough and after that defeated a good team in the Eagles (In a game in which the score doesn't really tell the true story of the game, Kansas was far better than Philly). Alex Smith is having the best start of his career, and the rookie running back, Kareem Hunt, is making an early case for Rookie of the Year. The one thing you could dispute about the Chiefs is their defense, with them not being inside the top 20 in any of the major categories. But they more than make it up with their offense, being inside the top 5 of every major category. So we are good we the Chiefs.
Another easy one. The Broncos struggled to sustain a lead but finally escaped with the W in their first game of the season, and that was against a divisional rival. After that, they dismantled the Dallas Cowboys at Mile High to handle the dynamic duo of Dak and Zeke their worst loss since coming into the league. Denver has the best rushing attack in football as of this week, and Trevor Siemian is completing 65% of his passes, that's pretty good. When a team only allows you to run for an average of 52 yards (And remember, Melvin Gordon and Zeke are no joke) and average 159 rushing yards on the offensive side of the ball, you (and specially your defense) are in for a long game. And BTdubs, that stadium is a nightmare for any team that visits.
Yet, another easy one. Yes, maybe the Raiders haven't played against a top tier team yet, but that's not their fault. They did what they were supposed to do by beating the Titans and crushing the Jets last week, so no complaints there. Coming into the season we knew Oakland was among the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl next year, and a huge reason why is Derek Carr, the guy is a complete stud; 5 touchdowns, no interceptions, and he is completing 75% of his passes. Obviously his receiving corp is great, and he knows how to exploit all of them, but, there's something else with this offense… Marshawn Lynch going to the Raiders really put this team in a new level, not just because he still is a great running back, but because the swag and personality he brings to the team. That image of him dancing and getting the crowd going last week at Oakland is exactly what I'm referring to, there is an aura right now about the Raiders. Oh, and they are the best offense in the league when it comes to points.
The black sheep. The only team in the division that's still looking for their first win. You could say that they are the weak link of the division, and you would be somewhat right, it is hard to defend a team that is yet to win… But, the Chargers aren't a bad team, they do find ways to lose close games, but they aren't an easy team to beat. LA’s point differential is -5, that's better than Arizona, Minnesota, Washington, Dallas, Houston, and the same as Seattle. All teams with wins. Los Angeles must find a way to close games, because if it wasn't for their lack of clutchness they very well could be 2-0. And they have the people to turn it around, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram could end the season as the best combo of pass rushers in the league, and having Phillip Rivers with a good cast of offensive weapons gives this team hope that this season could still end up being good. And the kicker, the kicker needs work.
So there you go, my case has been made. The AFC West is the best division in football as of right now, and I will venture to say that it's going to stay that way.