Where to start? Well, let’s start with the fact that the Chargers pulled out the win in Kansas City. Then, let’s consider the Broncos loss in Carolina. This means the AFC West is still up for grabs. I think the Broncos got too comfortable when they saw that the Chiefs had a 21-3 lead in the 3rd quarter, so they took the day off. (A Chargers loss or a Broncos win would’ve secured a playoff spot for the Broncos).
Jay Cutler was lucky that he didn’t have more than 1 INT. He didn’t perform like himself, and he was sacked almost half as many times as he’s been sacked all season. The offense put out 279 total yards, but the Panthers racked up 400 yards. I was thrown off guard, as were the Broncos when the Panthers passing game came on strong. I didn’t think that they would get 253 yards out of Jake Delhomme, or a monstrous game out of Steve Smith (165 receiving yards). It didn’t help that the Broncos couldn’t apply any pressure to Delhomme. The Broncos started on a good note, but let the Panthers creep into the game until they blew it out of the water in the third quarter when DeAngelo Williams scored on a 56 yard gain. It’s those big runs that have killed the Broncos all season. On a positive note, the Broncos had over 100 yards rushing despite losing Peyton Hillis last week. It’s good to see other guys step up when their names are called.
As for the rest of the season, the playoffs are not a lock for this team. They play a tough Bills team at home next week followed by a final game in San Diego. The Chargers also have a tough game next week when they go into Tampa Bay, but we can’t count on the Chargers losing to get Denver into the playoffs.