The AFC West walked away 2-2 after an action packed week four in the NFL. One month in, and there’s already some clear separation between the four teams’ records. Here’s a look at the week that was and what’s to come from the division.
Denver Broncos (1-3):
Looking Back: The Lambeau Leaps were on instant replay and Aaron Rodgers’ six touchdown passes/runs put the Packers at 49 points and in the lead for the team most likely to return to the Super Bowl. Even in Green Bay, cheers for Tebow were heard. It wasn’t just that the Broncos were lacking at quarterback. They were deficient in all areas compared to the top-notch Packers. Key highlights were Von Miller’s two sacks, Brandon Lloyd’s 136 yards receiving, Eric Decker’s two touchdowns, and Willis McGahee’s 100+ yard rushing day. After that, it was the 49-23 score that you would expect.
Looking Forward: The Broncos return home to host the San Diego Chargers. While the Chargers are at 3-1, their wins haven’t come against the most formidable of opponents. If the Broncos can’t get a win this week, their season might as well go black and the rebuilding process will continue.
Kansas City Chiefs (1-3):
Looking Back: The Chiefs picked up their first win of the season after skating by with a 22-17 victory over the Vikings. Matt Cassel went 18-for-29 for 260 yards and 1 TD. That one TD was the one the Chiefs needed the most as it was a scripted play for Dwayne Bowe’s 52-yard reception in the fourth quarter to take a 12-point lead. The game was out of reach and so was the Vikings first win of the season.
Looking Forward: This could be territory for two wins in a row. The Chiefs head to Indianapolis to take on a
headless Peyton-less Colts team. If the Chiefs have any chance of setting their injury-plauged season straight, it’s next week, right before their bye.
Oakland Raiders (2-2):
Looking Back: The big, bad Patriots paid a visit to the dark hole and walked away with a 31-19 win. Tom Brady’s interception spree stopped in week three and he led the Pats with 226 passing yards and 2 TDs. It was Jason Campbell who threw the picks (2) despite passing for 344 yards. The Beast, Darren McFadden, was tamed to 75 rushing yards on 14 carries. A question mark remains as to whether the Raiders are the real deal.
Looking Forward: The Raiders hit the road to take on the 3-1 Houston Texans. The Texans 17th ranked rush defense has a tall task ahead of them containing Darren McFadden. However, they are coming off of a big win against the Steelers that has their confidence up high.
San Diego Chargers (3-1):
Looking Back: The Chargers covered the grave of the Miami Dolphins, picking up a 26-16 win in week four. Philip Rivers went 21-for-31 for 307 yards and 1 TD. His effort was matched by Ryan Mathews who had 16 carries for 81 yards. The Chargers aren’t looking like themselves, usually known for their high powered scoring offense. It’s been kicker Nick Novak who has been putting points up on the board for them. Then again, the Chargers are taking a “start fast” approach to the season – something also taken from a different playbook.
Looking Forward: Philip Rivers always gets up for playing in Denver. He will have to if he’s without Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson. The two star receivers could be out with injuries. That should even the playing field for a Broncos team that is expected to get Champ Bailey back in week 5.