AFC West Breakdown: Week 3


Jamaal Charles (25) carries against New Orleans Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson (21) during second half of their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. (John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE)

Week three saw the AFC West go 2-2 as the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders picked up their first wins of the season with each team winning by three points. The Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers were the losers of the week, and now there’s a three-way tie for last place in the division. Let’s take a look at what happened in week three and what’s to come in week four.

Denver Broncos (1-2):

Looking Back: The Broncos looked like they brought their baggage from the week two loss over to week three. Down by 20 points once again to begin the fourth quarter, the Broncos couldn’t mount a comeback strong enough to beat the Houston Texans. Matt Schaub tore the defense apart with four touchdowns as the Texans won 31-25. Peyton Manning threw a career high 26 incompletions, but he had 330 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. The Broncos had been great at defending the run up until they met Arian Foster who ran for 105 yards on 25 carries. If the Broncos can put a full game together, this can be one of the most deadly teams in the league.

Looking Forward: Now that there’s a three-way tie in the division, this week’s game against the Raiders means that much more. The Raiders are coached by ex-Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen, but the Broncos’ offense looks a lot different from last year so don’t expect him to have much of an advantage. The Broncos are at home again and need this win to get back to .500 which is where many predicted they would be at this point in the season.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-2): 

Looking Back: The New Orleans Saints didn’t lose a game in their house at all last season, but the Chiefs handed them their second home loss and third loss in a row by winning 27-24. It didn’t matter that the Chiefs were up by 18 points with 5:36 left in the third quarter. Jamaal Charles put the load on his shoulders and rushed 91 yards for the Chiefs longest running touchdown in franchise history. After that kicker Ryan Succop nailed four field goals to cement the three point win. Succop had six field goals on the day ranging from 25 to 45 yards. Matt Cassel went 26-for-44 for 248 yards and an interception, and the Chiefs even turned the ball over three times. However, they ate the clock, holding the ball for 42 minutes, 32 seconds and cruised in for their first victory of the season.

Looking Forward: The Chiefs return home to host the Chargers in their first divisional game of the season. The Chargers are coming off their first loss of the season to the Atlanta Falcons. A three-turnover game with points scored mostly on field goals won’t cut it against the Chargers, but maybe this is the jumpstart that the Chiefs needed.

Oakland Raiders (1-2):

Looking Back: A three point win over the Pittsburgh Steelers is a great first win of the season for the Raiders. The win shouldn’t have been in the cards as Ben Roethlisberger threw for 384 yards and four touchdowns, and Darrius Heyward-Bey was knocked unconscious in a scary collision. The Raiders pulled through in the end, however, as they scored the last 13 points of the game with Sebastian Janikowski knocking a 43-yard field goal through the uprights as time ran out. Darren McFadden finally got his legs moving rushing for 113 yards with a 6.3 yards per carry average. The defense made stops at the right time and Carson Palmer led an effective offense going 24-for-34 for 209 yards, 3 touchdowns, and an interception.

Looking Forward: The Raiders beat the Broncos in Denver in week one  last season 23-20, but the Broncos got the best of the Raiders in Oakland in November with a 38-24 win. Peyton Manning will be at his most intense, particularly after two straight losses. Look for him to tear this defense apart as they are giving up 29.3 points per game.

San Diego Chargers (2-1):

Looking Back: The Atlanta Falcons are just tearing the AFC West apart so far. They beat the Chargers 27-3 to improve to a 6-0 record all time against the team from San Diego. The last time the Chargers were held to three points was in 2002. Philip Rivers threw the ball into the hands of safety Thomas DeCoud twice and went 21-for-38 for 173 yards. He had a quarterback rating of 45.2. Ryan Mathews saw his first action of the season carrying the ball 10 times for 44 yards, but he fumbled with 10:31 to go in the first half. Matt Ryan went 30-for-40 for 275 yards, 3 touchdowns, and an interception.

Looking Forward: A game in Kansas City may be just what the doctor ordered for the Chargers. The Chargers lost to the Chiefs at Arrowhead  23-20 in their last meeting. They split the series last year.

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