The Broncos kick off the 2019 season on Monday night against the Raiders. It’s a game they should win on paper, even though they are traveling to Oakland for the game. The Broncos schedule gets much tougher next week against the Bears, so they have to take care of business in the season opener.
The AFC West is the toughest division in football, so every game – especially division games – is going to be incredibly important.
Let’s take a spin around the division to see what the competition is up to:
Kansas City Chiefs
As the Kansas City Chiefs get ready for the start of the regular season, they are doing so with a new addition at running back. Free-agent LeSean McCoy agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $4 million, including $3 million guaranteed, with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, Sept. 1.
It was a good addition for the Chiefs and a good landing spot for McCoy. The veteran back worked with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid when both were with the Eagles from 2009-12.
Reid revealed that the veteran back will have a bit of catching up to do even though he worked with McCoy before.
“This is different than what we did in Philadelphia. There will be some familiar things, but it’s quite a bit different. He’s going to have to get in and learn (the offense) and then we’ll just see how that goes,” Reid said.
The Chiefs travel across the country to face the Jaguars on Sunday. It’s a tough matchup against a good defense, so having a back like McCoy will help – even though reports indicate he may be eased into action and be on a snap count in his debut with the team. Either way, this was a good move and could help an already powerful Chiefs offense if McCoy has anything left in the tank.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are going to begin the season without starting running back Melvin Gordon, as he continues to hold out. Not only is Gordon holding out, but the team has given him permission to seek a trade partner. Reports surfaced that a deal was in place with the Eagles, but the Chargers were unwilling to agree to the terms of the trade so Gordon remains sidelined.
The absence of Gordon is going to make the Chargers offense look different as they take on the Colts in Week 1 at home. Philip Rivers might be more pass-happy on offense without Gordon. The Chargers quarterback dropped back to pass on 62.4 percent of the plays in the four games Gordon missed last season due to injury as opposed to 58.3 percent when he was healthy.
The Colts have a good defense and the Chargers offensive line might be in the bottom five of the NFL – especially with left tackle Russell Okung missing time due to a pulmonary embolism. If Rivers is going to be passing the ball more on Sunday, then he’d better get rid of the ball quickly. The team is looking up at the Chiefs in the division and are notorious for getting off to slow starts each season. We’ll see if that changes this year, especially without Gordon on offense.
Just when you thought we’d see Antonio Brown in a Raiders uniform in a game, the star receiver went and got himself suspended. In fact, we may never see Brown play a down for the Raiders according to some reports.
This all stems from an incident he got into with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock. The two got into a shouting match on the field and players had to hold Brown back as he was threatening the executive.
Brown could be suspended and then released, according to league sources, with the Raiders trying to void the $30.125 in guaranteed money in Brown’s contract.
Brown’s shouting match with Mayock did not get physical, but Brown did threaten to punch Mayock in the face, according to sources. Brown then punted a ball, and said “fine me for that.”
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden pushed for the team to trade for Brown. In fact, my Raiders sources tell me Gruden and Mayock did not agree on the addition and that’s causing some friction now. We’ll see if the two sides can work something out or if Brown never suits up for a game and has to look elsewhere for employment in 2019.
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