SportsLine Week 2 AFC West Picks: ‘We’ll See The Broncos Play A Very Clean Game,’ Says SportsLine’s Larry Hartstein

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(CBS Denver) — All 4 AFC West teams won their archetypal game. The Denver Broncos utilized a dependable show from caller backmost Teddy Bridgewater to dispense with the New York Giants connected the road. The Las Vegas Raiders topped the Baltimore Ravens successful a thrilling overtime matchup to unfastened their caller stadium. The Los Angeles Chargers, nether caller manager Brandon Staley, looked awesome against the Washington Football Team’s top-rated defense. And the Kansas City Chiefs came backmost from 12 points down and past held disconnected the Cleveland Browns to win.

The West is the lone undefeated part successful the AFC. (The NFC West besides opened with 4 wins.) With nary matchups wrong the part this week, each 4 teams could proceed their winning ways. But it won’t needfully beryllium easy. While the Broncos get a favorable matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars and rookie backmost Trevor Lawrence, the Raiders, Chargers, and Chiefs don’t person it rather truthful easy. The Raiders question to Pittsburgh to look the Steelers, who opened their play successful awesome fashion. The Chargers big the Dallas Cowboys, looking to bounce backmost from a pugnacious loss. And the Chiefs conscionable the Ravens, who are besides hoping to enactment a heartbreaking Week 1 nonaccomplishment down them.

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SportsLine‘s Larry Hartstein breaks down AFC West matchups successful Week 2.

All times listed are Eastern.

Denver Broncos @ Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, September 19, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)

As the archetypal wide prime successful this year’s NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence looked similar the existent deal. But the Jaguars are inactive acold from a bully team. They won 1 crippled past year, and struggled against the Houston Texans to unfastened the season. While Lawrence had 332 passing yards and 3 touchdowns, helium besides missed plentifulness of receivers. The Broncos’ defense, however, is simply a elephantine measurement up from the Texans’.

“It doesn’t signifier up to beryllium a large time for Trevor Lawrence, particularly with what we saw against Houston,” Hartstein notes. “They were playing 1 of the worst defenses successful each of football, and they were down 34-7. He threw 3 interceptions. He did get immoderate points precocious to marque it 37-21, a small spot much respectable. But present you spell up against a antiaircraft mastermind successful Vic Fangio.”

The Broncos defence kept the Giants connected their heals each past Sunday. Saquon Barkley picked up conscionable 26 yards connected 10 carries successful his return. Daniel Jones struggled to get the discourtesy going. And the discourtesy lone managed conscionable 13 points. Can the Jaguars bash immoderate better?

“I deliberation the Jaguars, with that offense, which doesn’t look to beryllium an NFL benignant of offense, with the pre-snap determination motion, the formations, it’s not arsenic analyzable arsenic I deliberation you request to beryllium to beryllium to bushed Vic Fangio,” Hartstein believes. “So I deliberation we’ll spot large mistakes from Trevor Lawrence. I deliberation we’ll spot the Broncos play a precise cleanable game, and I deliberation they’ll get to 2-0. And I deliberation they’ll screen the number.”

Bridgewater, connected the different hand, seems to beryllium a measurement up for the Broncos astatine the QB position. He’s the QB the Broncos person been seeking since Peyton Manning retired. “He takes attraction of the ball,” says Hartstein, “22-3 against the dispersed connected the roadworthy arsenic a starting quarterback… does not marque the large mistakes.”

Las Vegas Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, September 19, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)

The Raiders couldn’t person opened up their caller stadium successful much thrilling fashion. Derek Carr led 3 fourth-quarter drives to necktie the game. Then, successful overtime, helium threw a 31-yard walk to Zay Jones for a touchdown and the win. Las Vegas present has to question crossed the state to play the Raiders connected a abbreviated week.

“I conscionable deliberation however are you going to travel down from that affectional high,” Hartstein wonders. “The Death Star successful Vegas, the archetypal clip the fans were there. The excitement, the electricity, and they propulsion retired that triumph successful specified thrilling fashion. And present you’ve got to question eastbound to play a precise very bully Pittsburgh defense, which showed up bigtime against Josh Allen and truly frustrated what the Bills wanted to do.”

The Steelers defence held Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills to conscionable 1 touchdown. On offense, Ben Roethlisberger got things going successful the 2nd fractional aft being held scoreless to unfastened the game. But helium inactive lone threw for 188 gait connected 18-32. Rookie Najee Harris retired of Alabama averaged a lackluster 2.8 yards per transportation connected 18 carries and finished the crippled with 48 rushing yards.

“The Raiders defence is not arsenic atrocious arsenic it’s been,” Hartstein points out. “Gus Bradley came in. There’s caller talent. There’s [Yannick] Ngakoue, and Casey Hayward and the rookie Tre’von Moehrig. I thought they held up beauteous good against the Ravens.”

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All of this points to less points for some teams. “I’m going to look astatine the full here,” says Hartstein. “It’s already travel down from 48 to 47. But I inactive thin under. I deliberation the Raiders are going to person a small spot of occupation getting going aft that affectional win. And I deliberation the Steelers offense, which we saw, is not truthful dynamic this twelvemonth with 39-year-old — oregon nevertheless aged helium is — Big Ben. So I’m going to look nether the total.”

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Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, September 19, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

The Cowboys came retired firing successful Week 1 and astir knocked disconnected the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The bully quality is that Dak Prescott seems to person mostly recovered. He threw for 403 yards and 3 touchdowns. The atrocious quality is that the moving game, down Ezekiel Elliott didn’t bash overmuch of anything. Elliott picked up conscionable 33 yards connected 11 carries.

The Cowboys defence remains a problem, and could get worse. Tom Brady threw for 379 yards and 4 touchdowns past week. And successful signifier this week, antiaircraft extremity DeMarcus Lawrence, the Cowboys’ champion defender, broke his ft and volition miss the adjacent six to 8 weeks. Fellow starting antiaircraft extremity Randy Gregory tested affirmative for COVID and volition besides miss the game.

“This is simply a existent fascinating game,” says Hartstein. “The Cowboys discourtesy looked astonishing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they bash person an other remainder to prepare. But Michael Gallup is out, and he’s 1 of their large weapons. You’re inactive going to spot CeeDee Lamb and Zeke Elliott and Amari Cooper, of course, with Dak Prescott, enactment connected a beauteous bully show.”

The Chargers discourtesy did capable to get the win. Justin Herbert, the NFL’s 2020 Rookie of the Year, went 31-47 for 337 yards and a touchdown. That includes converting 14 of 19 3rd downs, galore of which were 5 yards oregon more, against a fierce walk rush. “I’m conscionable impressed with Brandon Staley, this archetypal twelvemonth caput coach, and what they were capable to bash successful Washington,” says Hartstein.

“I’m going to thin with the Chargers,” Harstein continues. “They’ve got the amended defense. They’re astatine home. And I deliberation Brandon Staley is turning this franchise around.”

Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, September 19, 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

The Chiefs opened their play with a pugnacious triumph implicit the Browns, successful what galore foretell could beryllium a preview of the AFC Championship. Mahomes completed 27 of his 36 passes for 337 yards and 3 touchdowns, padding his already unthinkable vocation September stats. He’s 11-0 successful the month, with 35 touchdowns and nary interceptions. Mahomes volition look to proceed that inclination against a Ravens squad he’s owned successful caller seasons. He’s 3-0 against Baltimore, with passer standing implicit 116.

Kansas City’s triumph implicit Baltimore came without 2 of their 3 champion defenders. “Tyrann Mathieu, the chromatic badger, helium didn’t play,” Harstein notes. “Frank Clark, helium didn’t play successful Week 1. Both guys could beryllium back. Mathieu is decidedly going to play. That’s immense for the Chiefs.”

The Ravens are coming disconnected a hard and draining nonaccomplishment to the Raiders, which could person implications for some teams, fixed the abbreviated week. According to Hartstein, “the Ravens are conscionable truthful banged up, not conscionable successful the moving backmost country but besides connected defense. That was an exhausting overtime game. Guys were limping. Marlon Humphrey stopped moving connected that past play. I don’t cognize if helium conscionable benignant of gave up due to the fact that helium couldn’t drawback the receiver. But that took a batch retired of him, and he’s their champion defender.”

Baltimore, of course, inactive has Lamar Jackson, adjacent if their moving backmost concern isn’t what they would like. He ran for 86 yards successful their opener. Kansas City, for their part, inactive struggles to halt the run.

Look for different adjacent game, though possibly not 1 wherever the Chiefs screen the spread. “The Chiefs person been winning adjacent games, they haven’t been covering,” Hartstein notes. “You spell backmost to their past 12 games, lone 2-10 against the number. And the aforesaid happening happened successful Week 1, wherever they were laying 5.5, laying 6 to the Browns. The Browns got there, losing lone by four. But I deliberation this spread, being arsenic debased arsenic it is, being 3.5, being the Ravens connected a abbreviated week, truthful banged up. And I deliberation the Chiefs getting those cardinal guys backmost connected defense, 2 of their 3 champion players connected defence were not successful the crippled successful week one. I deliberation that makes the difference, and the Chiefs bash screen the number.”

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