The amount of drama that filled the AFC West could match any Steven Spielberg creation. It came down to last second plays, and players who made last second efforts to try to give their teams another mark in the win column. In the end, it was a great day around the division regardless of who you were pulling for. Here’s a look at what happened and what’s to come.
Denver Broncos (1-4):
Looking Back: The record isn’t a good barometer for how Broncos fans are feeling. Their second home loss, and their third consecutive loss was a thriller of a game. Kyle Orton could smell the extra popcorn being popped from the sidelines as Tim Tebow took the field in the second half. Down by 16 points midway through the fourth quarter, Tebow lit a fire under some pads. He ran for a touchdown and threw for another one to pull the Broncos to within two points. One last Tebow heave with one last second on the clock fell through the hands of Matthew Willis in the back of the end zone. Chargers – 29 Broncos – 24. It’s Tebow o’clock.
Looking Forward: The Broncos who have had many of their starters injured for most of the season have a much needed bye. Players like Champ Bailey can get extra rest and extra treatment before finishing out the rest of the season on a strong note. Should he be named the team’s starting QB, Tim Tebow will get the extra reps in before stepping out into live action again. His work from under center needs improvement. Once the off week is over, the Broncos will head to South Beach to take on the Dolphins.
Kansas City Chiefs (2-3):
Looking Back: The Chiefs have won their last two. In week five, they put their red rally caps on to come back and beat the Indianapolis Colts by four points. The last Colts’ score came right before halftime. Then Matt Cassel took off his “Suck for Luck” Under Armour and came out firing. He went 21-of-29 for 257 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tom Brady must have been put on speed dial after Cassel struggled to get above a 70.0 passer rating the first two weeks of the season. This week, however, he finished with the best passer rating (138.5) amongst all QBs. Dwayne Bowe’s performance was like, well, like seeing a double
rainbow Dwayne Bowe. He finished the day with 7 catches for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Looking Forward: Like the Broncos, the Chiefs have the week off. This will give them time to go back to the drawing board and rework their 30th ranked offense, and 32nd ranked defense. In a perfect world, they would like to go back in time and reverse their luck on the injury front. With two wins in a row, let’s see if the bye week comes at the perfect time or if it’s a momentum killer. They travel to Oakland in week 7.
Oakland Raiders (3-2):
Looking Back: The Raiders just won, baby. They took on the Houston Texans just one day after the team announced the passing of long time owner Al Davis. Perhaps it was the “AL” decals on the helmets that provided the Raiders the extra motivation to pull off a 5-point win in Houston. Maybe it was actually Al Davis working his dark magic from up above. Matt Schaub tried to pull off the armed
robbery Schaubbery working within the Raiders 5-yard line with 6 seconds left. He hesitated making the run, and instead pulled up like a basketball player would to make to drop off pass near the bucket for an easy layup. The result: The pass was intercepted and the Raiders marched away with a proud win.
Looking Forward: The Raiders return to the Black Hole to host the 2-2 Cleveland Browns. They are coming off of an emotional win against a very good Texans team so their guard is down. The Browns have a solid pass defense, but their run defense leaves a lot to be desired. The Raiders should handedly win in week 6 if Darren McFadden has his usual 100 yard rushing day. Offensively, the Browns look like the color they represent. They’re ranked 26th in rushing and 17th in passing.
San Diego Chargers (4-1):
Looking Back: The win streak goes on as the Chargers racked up their third win in a row in Denver. Philip Rivers has not looked like himself this season. He’s tied with Kyle Orton and Michael Vick for the most interceptions in the league with 7. Against the Broncos he was 18-for-29 for 250 yards, 1 passing TD, 1 rushing TD, 1 INT, and 1 fumble. Thankfully for Rivers, Ryan Mathews is his right hand man. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry in week 5 and had 125 rushing yards. The Chargers were so close to letting the game slip out of their normally very good hands, that all Norv Turner could do was a breathe a sigh of relief as he walked into the locker room.
Looking Forward: To cap off the list AFC West teams with a bye, the Chargers can be added to that roster. They will have the chance to heal some ailing players like Antonio Gates as they prepare for serious battle against a Rex Ryan hungry Jets team. The Chargers will make the long flight to New York, where sunny attitudes are replaced with a hard-nosed passion for football and wins. That means a wild crowd. Until then, the Chargers can lay back in the warm Cali sand, hands tucked behind their heads, and enjoy the feeling of being in first place in October.