AFC West Notes: Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders


While the lack of production from Denver’s defense received a lot of attention given the higher expectations on that side of the ball under new HC Vic Fangio, the other big addition the Broncos made this offseason that’s failing to pay off is QB Joe Flacco. Denver traded a fourth-round pick to the Ravens for Flacco hoping the veteran would provide a steady hand.

Instead, Denver’s offense has failed to take any kind of step forward, as evidenced by Thursday night’s 30-6 home loss to the Chiefs where Flacco was sacked eight times and was only able to convert one of 13 third-down attempts. 

“We’re just not playing good football,” Flacco said via Mike Klis of KUSA. “They came after us and we kind of let them come after us. You’ve got to give a lot of credit to them. They played really physical. They came hard. They played downhill and we were in a lot of bad situations.”

  • Per the Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala, Fangio said Broncos OT Garett Bolles remains the starter at left tackle “right now.” 
  • Broncos DB Will Parks will miss at least a couple of weeks with a broken hand. (Klis)
  • Fangio confirms the team hasn’t had any talks yet about trading veterans for future picks and doesn’t know if they will. (James Palmer)
  • Fangio acknowledged the team is considering making changes on offense but that does not include replacing Flacco. (Troy Renck)


Chiefs HC Andy Reid says he doesn’t have any regrets about calling for a quarterback sneak to convert a third down in the first quarter, even though his MVP QB Patrick Mahomes dislocated his kneecap on the play. 

“No,” Reid said via Pro Football Talk. “Not too many people get hurt on sneaks. It was a freak thing, sometimes it happens. I was really proud of how our guys stepped up and didn’t let themselves down. You’ve seen that over the years where teams let themselves down when one of your best players get hurt, particularly the quarterback. But I was proud of how our guys stepped up and just kept battling. I thought they really upped their game.”

  • According to Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star, Chiefs QB Chad Henne could be ready to return from injured reserve in a few weeks. Henne had surgery on a fractured ankle in August. 
  • Reid says the team could activate QB Kyle Shurmur from the practice squad while Mahomes is out as Henne can’t return until after Week 8. (BJ Kissel)


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