The AFC West had just one team emerge from week six victorious. That’s no surprise considering the AFC conference has just two teams above .500 on the season. Let’s take a look at what happened and what’s to come in week 7.
Denver Broncos (3-3):
Looking Back: The Broncos looked like a sunken ship out in the Pacific ocean until after halftime before they attempted to rally from 24 down. Not only did they rally, but they beat the San Diego Chargers by double-digits with 35 unanswered points. Peyton Manning was prolific as he went 24-for-30 for 309 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Starting right cornerback Tracy Porter didn’t make the trip to San Diego because of illness, but he replacement Chris Harris came up with two interceptions, one being a pick-6. CB Tony Carter also saw more time because of Porter’s absence and he scooped up a fumble and ran it 65 yards for the score. He also added an interception. Life for the Broncos looked doom and gloom for a while, but Doom and Gloom (Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller) combined for 8 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. It was a historic win and just the third time in franchise history that the Broncos came back from 24 points down.
Looking Forward: The Broncos emerged from the toughest part of their schedule with a .500 record. That’s not a bad position to be in going into the bye week. Up next will be the New Orleans Saints in Denver on Sunday Night Football. The Broncos will play four teams who only have one win through six weeks in the next part of their schedule.
Kansas City Chiefs (1-5):
Looking Back: Brady Quinn got his first start in three years, but wasn’t able to lead his team to a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In fact, the Chiefs’ offense was barely able to get off the ground in the 38-10 loss. Quinn went 22-for-38 for 180 yards and 2 interceptions. Even Jamaal Charles looked stagnant as he rushed for 40 yards on 12 carries. The Chiefs lead the NFL in turnovers with 21 through six games. Josh Freeman was able to throw for 328 yards and 3 touchdowns against a sleepy Chiefs defense. Rookie running back Doug Martin had 13 carries for 76 yards to balance out Freeman’s passing game. That makes it three straight losses for the Chiefs.
Looking Forward: The only thing the Chiefs can look forward to is knowing that they won’t be losing next week. Matt Cassel has been cleared to return to non- contact football after missing time due to a concussion. The Chiefs will try to get their first division win of the year after the bye when they host the Raiders.
Oakland Raiders (1-4):
Looking Back: The Oakland Raiders nearly handed the Atlanta Falcons their first loss of the season when Darren McFadden rushed for a touchdown to make it a 20-20 ballgame with :40 left on the clock. However, Matt Bryant was able to nail a 55-yard field goal as the clock hit 0:00. Carson Palmer made a major mistake when he threw a pick when the team was on Atlanta’s 28-yard line with 2:40 left in the game and the score was tied 13-13. Asante Samuel took that pick and ran it 79 yards for the score. Palmer went 23-for-33 for 353 yards on the day with one touchdown, and that one pick. The Raiders owned the clock, holding onto the ball for 36 minutes, 26 seconds, but weren’t able to capitalize at the end of the game. Still, it looked like the bye week did them some good.
Looking Forward: The Raiders will return home to host the 1-4 Jacksonville Jaguars next week. The Jags have lost their last two games, and they’re 32nd in offense with just 13.0 points per game. Defensively, they’re only slightly better at 25th in the league, giving up 27.6 points per game. This is a very winnable game for the Raiders whose confidence has only risen since nearly knocking off the Falcons.
San Diego Chargers (3-3):
Looking Back: Tuesday has turned into the blame game for the folks rooting for the Chargers. Norv Turner is consistently out coached and Philip Rivers throws the ball away like it’s his job. Rivers went 25-for-41 for 242 yards with two touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and a fumble. The bright spot for the Chargers in their embarrassing loss to the Broncos was Antonio Gates who had 81 yards on 6 receptions and 2 touchdowns, and the special teams’ unit who recovered two fumbles in the return games. The Chargers only had 150 yards of total offense when they were up 24-0 at halftime. That let the Broncos know that this game was still up for grabs. The team let Manning work his magic by not getting to the QB at all. The only upside in San Diego? The weather.
Looking Forward: The Chargers must have bolted to their bye week 30 minutes early. The team has a week 7 bye, and will travel to Cleveland to take on the 1-5 Browns in week 8. That should allow Norv Turner to keep his job for a few more weeks.