The teams of the AFC West went 2-2 this week with the top two teams in the division losing in shocking fashion. Let’s take a look at what happened and what’s to come for the AFC West.
Denver Broncos (2-4):
Looking Back: It’s Tim Tebow’s world and we’re all just living in it. It was No. 15’s show in his hometown state. The Broncos were scoreless until there was 2:44 on the clock. Tebow threw 2 TDs and ran the ball in himself on a two-point conversion to tie the game and send it into overtime. From there, it was Denver’s defense that forced the Dolphins to turn the ball over, and Matt Prater who kicked the winning field goal after missing two in the first half. Broncos – 18 Dolphins -15. Also note: Tebow – 1 Orton – 0.
Looking Forward: The Broncos return home to host a fired up Detroit Lions team. The Lions were undefeated through five weeks of the season, but have lost their last two. Tony Scheffler returns to play his former team for the first time. This year’s No. 2 overall draft selection, Von Miller, will be compared to last year’s No. 2 overall draft selection, Ndamukong Suh. Here’s where we see how Tebow fares against one of the league’s best pass rushing teams. This game features stars of the NFL’s new generation: Tebow, Stafford, Miller, Suh, Jahvid Best, Demaryius Thomas. This is a game that national eyes will focus on.
Kansas City Chiefs (3-3):
Looking Back: The Chiefs didn’t just take out the Raiders in the Black Hole. They pushed them in and left them crying for their mothers. In a game that featured a combined 8 turnovers, the Chiefs walked out of there brushing their shoulders off after a 28-0 shutout. All fingers point to the Chiefs secondary in this one. Brandon Flowers had 2 interceptions, Mike McGraw had one, and Brandon Carr added another. It’s a good thing Matt Cassel had the surrounding support because he went 15-of-30 for 161 yards and 2 interceptions. Dwayne Bowe led the team in receiving with 6 catches for 76 yards and Jack Battle led the team in rushing with 16 carries for 76 yards.
Looking Forward: Kansas City emerges after their bye week having won three games in a row. They play host to the San Diego Chargers next week. Compared to a normal Philip Rivers, Matt Cassel looks like a rag doll that can be hung out to dry. The Chargers normally have things on lockdown, so barring a complete collapse, expect the Chargers to take this one. The Chiefs are 25th against the rush and 17th against the pass. That’s hard to overlook when facing Ryan Mathews and Philip Rivers.
Oakland Raiders (4-3):
Looking Back: The Raiders are playing Russian Roulette with the quarterbacks that they have on their roster. They brought Carson Palmer in off his couch when Jason Campbell was lost for the season, yet they started Kyle Boller against the Chiefs. Boller should have been a professional bowler instead of a quarterback. He threw three picks in the first half. Boller rubbed off on Palmer because Palmer threw three picks in the second half. The Raiders would have been better off putting Darren McFadden in at quarterback since he couldn’t run because of a foot sprain. He came out after just 2 carries for 4 yards. Michael Bush was the only bright spot for the black and silver. He had 99 yards on 17 carries.
Looking Forward: The bye comes at the perfect time for the Raiders. Caron Palmer will be able to familiarize himself with the team’s offense, Darren McFadden will be able to rest his foot, and the Raiders can evaluate why they were shut out to a 2-3 team at the time. After the bye, Oakland hosts Denver.
San Diego Chargers (4-2):
Looking Back: The Chargers have beat the Vikings, Chiefs, Dolphins, and Broncos. Combined they have taken out teams with a 6-19 record. Their dominance doesn’t show when they play better teams. They lost in
New York New Jersey to the Jets 21-27 in week 7. Rex Ryan probably made San Diego wish that they had hired him instead of the quieter Norv Turner. Trash talking aside Plaxico Burress torched the Bolts’ red zone defense with 3 touchdown receptions. Rivers is not looking like himself these days. He went 16-of-32 for 179 yards and a score, but he also threw 2 interceptions. The Chargers are proving once again that they can’t win big games.
Looking Forward: The Chargers will hop on another plane to play the Chiefs. This is a redemption game for them as they try to get back to their winning ways before taking on the league’s best team, the Green Bay Packers in week 9. The Chiefs have a red hot secondary right now, so Rivers can’t overlook them. Is this a reverse mode of attack where the gain their wins early in the season and then fall apart at the end? Only time will tell.