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We’re back with another update for Kansas City Chiefs fans on 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’ll find stories from the week of June 19-25.
Free-agent DT Ndamukong Suh tweets 'Raiders could be fun' for 2022 season
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
“On Monday, Suh appeared on NFL Live and mentioned the Raiders as a potential landing spot. On Tuesday, he doubled down and tweeted that the ‘Raiders could be fun’ for his next team.”
Suh mentioned that he will not be returning to the Buccaneers in 2022. Right now he’s considering the Raiders and Vikings, although other teams could be in the mix as well. I’d expect him to sign with a team either before training camp or in the middle of the season.
Raiders to use running back by committee in 2022?
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
“In a recent article by Vic Tafur of The Athletic, he explained why the Raiders are likely to deploy a running back by committee approach during the 2022 season:
‘Sounds to me like you have to use (Zamir White) this season. Jacobs and Drake will likely both be gone next year after playing out their contracts, and there is probably a decent chance Ziegler and McDaniels already think White is better than them. A committee approach seems to make sense, keeping everybody fresh and ideally available.'”
The Raiders are sort of in a similar situation as the Chiefs with their running back room. They have some proven contributors and a promising rookie, but nobody has truly proven themselves as “the guy” yet. I’d keep an eye out for White, who may emerge as the team’s best back by the end of the season.
NFL.com's Adam Rank predicts Broncos will go 12-5 this season
Ron Chenoy-USA 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 coworker Willie McGinest predicting a 9-8 record for the Broncos. Check out Rank break down the Broncos’ schedule above.”
Bold move saying the Broncos can beat the Chiefs next season after losing 13 straight to Kansas City. Of course, Denver is much more equipped to break that streak in 2022 compared to recent years, but it’ll still be a tough task to take the Chiefs out.
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 high school football player before his career was cut short by spinal stenosis. Cooper’s brothers (Arch’s uncles), Peyton and Eli, each won a pair of Super Bowls as NFL quarterbacks.”
Not necessarily Broncos news, but there’s a strong connection with former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s nephew committing to the Longhorns. The football world needs to prepare for another Manning in the NFL in three to four years.
Chargers QB Justin Herbert not concerned with future contract talks: 'Whatever happens, happens'
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
“Herbert told CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr that he’s not worried about that eventuality [for a contract extension].
‘We haven’t discussed anything but I’ve been so fortunate to play for the Chargers,’ he said. ‘Whatever happens, happens. I’m just so excited to be here and play football. This has been a great opportunity and I don’t wish it went any other way.'”
He’s saying that now, but we’ll see if the narrative changes in 2023 or 2024 when Herbert’s rookie contract reaches its end. There’s still plenty of football yet to be played between now and then, but if Herbert takes the Chargers to a Super Bowl in the next couple of years, he’ll end up getting a massive deal.
Austin Ekeler needs Chargers' running backs to step up
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
“The sixth-year pro called the running back by committee approach his ‘upbringing’ and something he wants to work back towards this season after logging a career-high 206 carries in 2021.
For Ekeler, longevity is a focus. He said on Wednesday that ‘I wanna play a long time, so I want guys to come in and earn some reps.’ But despite these desires, the candidates to contribute as complements to Ekeler are far from proven.”
I admire Ekeler for saying this. There aren’t many players willing to admit that they’d share the load as opposed to taking on the whole burden. It’s a smart play since running backs generally don’t last long in the NFL. As far as the Chargers’ committee approach goes, I’d look toward rookie Isaiah Spiller to end up with the majority of shares behind Ekeler in 2022.