AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs


Not many people at the time criticized the Broncos for trading everything they did for QB Russell Wilson. But there were reports he wasn’t their first choice and their goal was to reunite HC Nathaniel Hackett with his quarterback in Green Bay. When that didn’t work, they pivoted to Wilson. 

Aaron Rodgers, I could understand giving up that sort of package, but not Russell,” said a high-ranking NFC exec to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “Denver didn’t have any familiarity with the player or his fit in the system, and he’s declining as an aging, smaller quarterback.”

Wilson’s struggles have been stark, especially compared to the rest of his career outside of 2022. The question for Denver going forward will be figuring out how much of Wilson’s issues have been the perfect storm of outside factors, like coaching, injuries and getting used to a new team and system, and how much is just Wilson declining. Plenty of people in the NFL believe Wilson’s mobility is waning and it’s caused his whole game to collapse like a house of cards. 

“His accuracy was just OK over the years, but he was so good moving around and making plays and providing legitimate rushing production that you didn’t have to keep him in the pocket all the time,” said an AFC executive. “If he can’t do that part as well anymore, the rest of his game can suffer. And with questions about how his personality, whether he could galvanize a group is a question that now looks magnified.”

  • Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett said WR KJ Hamler suffered a setback with his hamstring injury. (Klis)
  • The Broncos have ruled out Hamler from Week 13. (Adam Schefter)


The Chiefs stunned a lot of people when they traded away WR Tyreek Hill to the Dolphins this offseason. Hill has been his same, explosive self and a huge part of Miami’s success. But Kansas City has kept ticking along without him just fine. 

“Credit to KC — when you have Patrick Mahomes, you figure you’ll take the hit and he’ll adjust, and he has,” an NFL scouting director said via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “And Andy Reid is the game’s best play-caller. They’ve discovered their running game and their secondary and put the emphasis on other players everything runs smoothly through Travis Kelce, and they knew that. And with several different receivers, they’ve replaced Hill in the aggregate.”


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