We’re back with another update for Kansas City Chiefs fans about AFC West rivals. Each week, we highlight six recent and relevant stories about Kansas City’s division rivals: two stories each about the Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers.
Below you will find stories from the week of June 19-25.
Free agent DT Ndamukong Suh tweets ‘Raiders can be fun’ for 2022 season
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
“On Monday, Suh appeared on NFL Live and mentioned the Raiders as a possible landing spot. On Tuesday, he doubled down and tweeted that the ‘Raiders could be fun’ for his next team.”
Suh said he will not return to the Buccaneers in 2022. He is currently considering the Raiders and Vikings, although there could be other teams in the mix as well. I would expect him to sign with a team before training camp or in the middle of the season.
Raiders to use running back by commission in 2022?
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
“In a recent article by Vic Tafur of The Athletiche explained why the Raiders are likely to deploy a running back through commission approach during the 2022 season:
“Sounds to me like you (Zamir White) should use this season. Jacobs and Drake will probably both be gone next year after they play out their contracts, and there’s probably a decent chance Ziegler and McDaniels already think White is better than them. A committee approach seems logical, so that everyone remains fresh and optimally available.’”
The Raiders are in a bit of a similar situation to the Chiefs with their backroom. They have a number of proven contributors and a promising rookie, but none have really proven themselves as “the guy” so far. I would keep an eye on White, who could emerge as the best defender on the team towards the end of the season.
NFL.com’s Adam Rank Predicts Broncos Will Go 12-5 This Season
Ron Chenoy-US TODAY Sports
“Perhaps the only curveball in the schedule prediction, Rank believes the Broncos can beat the Chiefs next season. We’ll see. Rank’s 12-5 prediction comes on the heels of colleague Willie McGinest predicts a record of 9-8 for the Broncos. View Rank outline the Broncos schedule above.
Bold move to say the Broncos could beat the Chiefs next season after losing 13 directly to Kansas City. Of course, Denver is much better equipped to break that streak in 2022 compared to years past, but it will still be an uphill task to take out the Chiefs.
QB prospect Arch Manning commits to University of Texas
Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser
Arch is the grandson of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and the son of Cooper Manning, who was a star football player in high school before his career was cut short by spinal stenosis. Cooper’s brothers (Arch’s uncles), Peyton and Eli, each won a couple of Super Bowls as NFL quarterbacks.”
Not Broncos news per se, but there is a strong connection to former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s nephew who is committed to the Longhorns. The football world must prepare for a new Manning in the NFL in three to four years.
Chargers QB Justin Herbert not preoccupied with future contract talks: ‘Whatever happens, happens’
Kirby Lee-US TODAY Sports
“We haven’t talked about anything, but I’ve been lucky enough to play for the Chargers,” he said. ‘What happens, happens. I’m so excited to be here and play football. This has been a great opportunity and I wouldn’t want it to go any other way.’”
He’s saying that now, but we’ll see if the story changes in 2023 or 2024 when Herbert’s rookie contract expires. There’s still plenty of football to be played between now and then, but if Herbert takes the Chargers to a Super Bowl in the next few years, he’ll end up getting a huge deal.
Austin Ekeler needs Chargers running backs to stand up
Robert Hanashiro-US TODAY Sports
The sixth-year pro called the running back by committee approach his ‘upbringing’ and something he wants to work towards this season after posting a career high of 206 in 2021.
For Ekeler, a long service life is central. He said on Wednesday: “I want to play long, so I want guys to come and earn some reps.” But despite these wishes, the candidates to contribute in addition to Ekeler are far from proven.”
I admire Ekeler for saying this. Not many players are willing to admit that they would share the burden instead of taking on the whole burden. It’s a smart move, since running backs generally don’t last long in the NFL. As for the approach of the Chargers commission, I would look to rookie Isaiah Spiller to get the majority stake behind Ekeler by 2022.