AFC West Breakdown: Week 14


It’s not over till it’s over, but week 14 saw the Broncos and Chargers win while the Chiefs and the Raiders lost. That puts the Broncos in a two game lead over the Raiders for first in the AFC West. Let’s take a look at what happened in week 14 and what’s to come in week 15.

Denver Broncos (8-5):

Looking Back: The Broncos won their sixth consecutive game. It’s been a giant turn around since the Broncos started 2-5. A fired-up Chicago Bears defense was looking to shutout the Broncos. They did it in the first half, but like most Broncos stories are written these days – during the last few minutes of the game – another opponent went down in a ball of flames. The Bears were up 10-0 with about two minutes left in the game. Then everyone looked at their watch and saw that it was Tebow thirty. A TD pass to Demaryius Thomas had the Broncos down three. Then the Broncos got the ball back due to Marion Barber running out of bounds and halting the clock. Matt Prater kicked a 59-yard FG in to tie and force overtime. In OT Wesley Woodyard took the ball out of Barber’s hands as easily as you would take candy from a baby to kill another Bears drive. Then it was Prater’s 51-yard walk-off field goal that won it. You couldn’t write a better storyline.

Looking Forward: The Broncos have their next two of three at home. The New England Patriots (10-3) make the trip back to Denver, their first trip since 2009. Don’t think that they forgot about that loss. It ate Bill Belichick and Tom Brady alive to know that little Josh McDaniels stole one from them. The Broncos cast is different this go around, and they are more threatening. Their defense has a good shot of slowing the Patriots offense while the offense should have an easier time with a softer Patriots defense. After this it’s one in Buffalo and one back in Denver to host the Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs (5-8):

Looking Back: The Chiefs had no shot from the beginning against the New York Jets. It was 28-3 at halftime and the Jets made it a 37-10 win when all was said and done. The Chiefs only turned the ball over once (Jets also had 1 TO), but they made Mark Sanchez look like the second coming of John Elway. Sanchez had 2 passing TDs and 2 rushing TDs to put this way out of reach for the Chiefs offense. Tyler Palko went 16-for-32 for 195 yards and 1 TD, but the team has no run support. They fired head coach Todd Haley Monday because what else is there to do? The Jets game killed any spirit the team had after the week 13 win against the Bears.

Looking Forward: Romeo Crennel will take charge of the Chiefs for the remainder of the season. It’s not a pretty welcome mat for Crennel who will debut as head coach when the undefeated Green Bay Packers visit Arrowhead. The scoreboard will likely compare to that of a lopsided college basketball game. 63-10 may not be out of the question here, folks.

Oakland Raiders (7-6):

Looking Back: The Raiders have lost their last two. The most recent loss comes by way of the Green Bay Packers. It was a 46-16 beating that showed just why the Packers will likely win the Super Bowl again this year. Carson Palmer was an interception machine, throwing four picks and just one touchdown. The Pack Attack were up 43-7 by the end of the third quarter so they yanked Aaron Rodgers and put in backup Matt Flynn. Michael Bush was the only highlight of this game for the Raiders as he had 23 carries for 78 yards and a score. This is a team that has plateaued at the wrong time.

Looking Forward: The Raiders welcome the Detroit Lions to Oakland in what is sure to be a very heated battle in the trenches. The Raiders have a giant offensive line and they will try to contain Ndamukong Suh who returns from a two game suspension. The 8-5 Lions are fighting for a Wild Card spot at this point so this game means everything to them. They are second in the league in interceptions and 9th in sacks so this could be another long day for Palmer.  The Lions are averaging 28.2 points per game while the Raiders are giving up 27.2 per contest. The forecast calls for gloom and doom in Oakland on Sunday.

San Diego Chargers (6-7):

Looking Back: The Chargers have a nice little two game winning streak going on, but it may be too little, too late for a team that notoriously surges in December. The Bolts beats up on the Bills 37-10 in a game where Philip Rivers looked like his old self. He went 24-for-33 for 240 yards, 3 TDs, and no interceptions. All was done right by the Chargers who went 8-of-14 on third down, rushed for 150 yards on the ground, and forced three Bills turnovers. That six game losing streak, however, nearly puts a cap on this season.

Looking Forward: The Chargers host the 10-3 Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night football this week. The game was nearly moved back to an afternoon time slot to make room for the Broncos and Pats, but people still believe that Chargers football in December is worth watching in prime time. The Ravens have won 4 straight and they are battling it out with the Steelers who are also 10-3. The Ravens are 3rd in points allowed, first in forced fumbles, and first in sacks. The Rivers train that finally got on the right track is about to be derailed by Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed. This isn’t a fun family vacation to California for the Ravens. They are there for one thing and that’s to take the slight charge out of the Chargers.

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