We talk about Alex Smith being the most valuable player in the league and that’s true. I would put him atop my MVP standings.
However, let’s focus on the word value, as in what you bring to the team. Would the Chiefs still be a good team without Alex Smith? Probably. I doubt they’re 5-0 and a Super Bowl contender but they could be a .500 team competing for a playoff spot.
Now, look at Derek Carr. When he’s playing, the Raiders are talked about as a dark horse Super Bowl contender. When he’s not playing, they are the worst team in the AFC West. Really, the worst. I would pick the Chargers over the Carr-less Raiders (and I did ... even though he might actually play).
The best team in the division so far is clearly the Chiefs. No one except Denver fans are arguing that. What I can’t wait for is when the Chiefs get a chance to prove that. After this week, the Chiefs play the Raiders in Week 7 and then the Broncos in Week 8. They’ll be on the road on a short week against Oakland so they’ll have that going against them (but the Raiders are still coached by Jack Del Rio, so the Chiefs have the advantage there). The Broncos game will come when the Chiefs have extra time to prepare, which we know is an Andy Reid specialty.
So, are we all good on these rankings?
4. Raiders without Derek Carr