AFC West Preview – Week Fifteen


General view of the line of scrimmage as Oakland Raiders center Stefen Wisniewski (61) snaps the ball against the Denver Broncos at the Coliseum on December 6, 2012. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 26-13.  The Broncos travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens in Week 15, while the Raiders welcome the Chiefs to northern California. (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

It is hard to believe that there are only three weeks left in the regular season!  It seems like only yesterday we were looking at seventeen weeks of football ahead of us, and a lot of questions were being asked about what the Broncos would look like with a new, Hall of Fame quarterback.  The questions have been answered, and with three games remaining in the 2012 season, it is comforting that the Broncos have secured their second consecutive division title, as well as a playoff spot.  Please continue reading for my thoughts on the football games in Week Fifteen featuring AFC West teams.

Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens:  The outcome of this game will very likely have a major impact on playoff seeding.  Simply put, if the Broncos win, they will probably enter the “second season” as a third seed; a loss may put them as a fourth seed.  Of course, those scenarios hinge on the fact that neither team stubs their toe the last two weeks of the season.  The Broncos continue to utilize their new travel schedule (traveling on Friday, rather than Saturday) initiated this season by Coach John Fox when playing early games on the east coast.  Considering the Broncos are at home for the last two games of the season, this will be the team’s last opportunity to play on the road before the playoffs.  As it appears today, their next road trip will be to Houston or New England.  Today’s game for the Broncos, in my opinion, comes at the right time.  I’m a die-hard Bronco fan, so I obviously will pick the Broncos to win today; extending their winning streak to nine games.  Realistically though, the Broncos have a huge challenge ahead of them if they want to come home with another victory.

Carolina Panthers at San Diego Chargers:  Both teams enter this game coming off wins in Week Fourteen.  The Chargers etched their first win in fifteen tries against the Pittsburgh Steelers, while the Panthers shocked the visiting Atlanta Falcons.  It appears this season may be the last for Norv Turner, so it will be interesting to see how the Chargers end the season.  San Diego is 2-4 at home this season, and the Panthers are 2-4 on the road; so, this game could go either way.  Like the pick for the Bronco game, I will let my heart choose the victor in this one and go with the visiting Panthers.

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders:  The Chiefs continue their battle with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the league’s worst record.  Entering into Week Fifteen, the Chiefs and Jaguars both have records of 2-11.  The Chiefs end the season with games against the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos, so this may be their best opportunity to achieve their third win of the season.  The Oakland Raiders are only one game better than the Chiefs at 3-10 and are coming off a long break after playing the Broncos in Week Fourteen.  Despite their dismal records and the season of both teams, I am looking forward to this game to see if the current players will reignite the bitter rivalry.  As a Bronco fan, it is very entertaining to sit and watch two divisional opponents beat up on each other for a few hours.  I will give the nod to the black-and-silver in this one, because they’re at home.

Enjoy Week Fifteen Bronco fans!

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