AFC West Watch: Raiders, Chargers Join Chiefs At 1-0
With the Kansas City Chiefs kicking off the NFL season on Thursday night and the Denver Broncos finishing the week as part of the second game on Monday night, the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers were the AFC West's only Sunday action in Week 1.
Las Vegas Raiders 34, Carolina Panthers 30
The new-location Las Vegas Raiders beat the new-look Carolina Panthers on Sunday, 34-30. Led by three touchdowns from running back Josh Jacobs, the Raiders started the season in a shootout victory.
Hikaru Kudo of RaiderMaven highlighted Jacobs' performance:
At times, the Raiders would consistently give Jacobs the ball, relying on the blocks of the offensive line and Jacobs fighting for yards on second and third down. Other times, he would catch the screen pass and find the blocks on the outside for a few yards.
In other words, when the blocks were present for Jacobs, he utilized those blocks to his advantage. Because he is light on his toes, it also allows him to have a quick upper body movement. His hesitations and trucks forced his opponents to tackle lower but in return helped Jacobs to fight for a couple of extra yards. Those extra yards change a 3rd and 7 situations to a 3rd and 4 situations, which opens up multiple options for third down.
Hands down, Jacobs was the key player to the Raiders' victory over the Panthers. Now that he’s back in his grind, he needs to continue to do this consistently as the season progresses.
The Chiefs host the Raiders in Week 5.
Los Angeles Chargers 16, Cincinnati Bengals 13
The Chargers kicked off their season Sunday afternoon by traveling to Cincinnati to take on Joe Burrow's Bengals. Burrow led the Bengals on a potentially game-winning or game-tying drive down by three points in the final moments of the fourth quarter. On the last play from scrimmage, a would-be game-winning touchdown was offset by an offensive pass interference penalty on wide receiver A.J. Green, then the game-tying 31-yard field goal was missed wide right, giving the Chargers a win instead of a trip to overtime.
For more from the Chargers' perspective, check out Fernando Ramirez's breakdown on ChargerReport.
Denver Broncos vs. Tennessee Titans (Monday Night Football)
Tomorrow night, the Denver Broncos wrap up Week 1 with the second of two Monday Night Football games, hosting the Chiefs' AFC Championship game opponent, the Tennessee Titans. The game begins at 9:20 CT. For a preview from the Broncos' perspective, check out Mile High Report.