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AFC West: Quarter Season Report

No Matty-boy, you can't just acquire talent by touching talented people. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
No Matty-boy, you can't just acquire talent by touching talented people. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Getty Images

At the beginning of the season I laid out a color coded chart of each AFC West team's schedule. With the 1st quarter of the season under our belts, it's time to reflect a little on that schedule. Initially I used Football Outsiders' Preseason DVOA values, but now I've updated all the teams with their current DAVE values. DAVE combines those preseason projections with the current performance of the team.

1 2 3 4
Denver OAK (L)
@ten (L)
@gb (L)
Kansas City BUF (L)
@det (L) @sd (L) MIN (W)
Oakland @den (W)
@buf (L) NYJ (W)
NE (L)
San Diego MIN (W)
@ne (L) KC (W) MIA (W)

Based on these new calculations you can see that every team in the AFC has done what you'd expect them to do. The Chargers took on 3 easy opponents and beat them all and lost to the toughest possible opponent (according to this system). Oakland split their games taking advantage of a week Denver team and a Jets team that doesn't project to be quite as good on the road while losing to their two tougher opponents. Kansas City has had a tough road to hoe and their record shows that with only one win, which came from a weak opponent traveling to their stadium. Denver is the only team that had (again, according to this system) a winnable game that they lost. Of course, that same game was said to be winnable by their opponent.

Now, let's take a look at the next 4 games for each team and see what lies ahead.

All VOA, DVOA, YAR and DYAR statistical values are developed, calculated and reported by Football Outsiders. Their explanation can be found here. Team efficiency projections can be found here.

5 6 7 8 9
Denver SD BYE @mia DET @oak
Kansas City @ind BYE @oak SD MIA
Oakland @hou CLE KC BYE DEN
San Diego @den BYE @nyj @kc GB

One thing that may stand out to you is that currently the system sees the Chargers as an average team on the road. I'm sure many of you can agree with that. Even with that being the case, the two divisional road games are still winnable ones for the Chargers since both of the hosting teams are considered below average. If you look at Oakland's schedule you can see that the division should stay interesting over the next month. There's a chance that the Silver and Black drop a game to the Texans in week 5, but the next 3 shouldn't be a problem for the Raiders. That will require the Chargers to either upset the Jets or the Packers (while taking care of business against the Broncos and Chiefs) in order to have a good chance of maintaining their 1 game lead.