AFC West Preview – Week Five


Sep 29, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker (87) runs with the ball as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Cary Williams (26) and inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans (59) defend in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 52-20. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs both hit the road in week five to try and extend their unbeaten streak, while the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders face off a little later than usual thanks to the playoffs in Major League Baseball.  For my thoughts and brief analysis of the three games in week five featuring the AFC West, please continue reading. 

Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys: No doubt, this a premiere game of week five; some would say it’s because of the Dallas Cowboys and their self-appointed role as “America’s Team” but let’s be honest – Peyton Manning and the offensive juggernaut that has been on display during the month of September has to be a huge draw!   After four weeks of the 2013 season, the biggest question surrounding the Broncos is “who will be the first team to beat them?” Will it be the Dallas Cowboys?  I don’t think so, but you just never know in this league.  Like most Bronco fans, I am thoroughly impressed with Peyton Manning and my confidence continues to increase each week they take the field.  Regardless of what happens Sunday, it is not the end of the world if the Broncos lose.  The season is sixteen games long and this Sunday is just a fraction of it.  It is obvious one month into the season that this team has bigger aspirations than just regular season wins.  A note to Bronco fans, pace yourself – these are the games this team is supposed to win.

Kansas City Chiefs at Tennessee Titans: I’m going to be honest here and say that this game interests me about as much as a trip to the dentist, an alarm clock going off on a cold Monday morning, or a tee time being cancelled because of rain, etc.  I think you get the idea.  I am a displaced Bronco season ticket holder who unfortunately lives in the Midwest, around a lot of Chief fans.  When you mention 4-0 to me, I instantly think about the Broncos, not the Kansas City Chiefs.  I may watch this game (because I know it will be televised where I live) only to see if by some chance the Chiefs get their first loss of the season.  Can the Titans do this?  Realistically, I don’t think so, but I can always hope.  The Chiefs have reached 4-0 by stellar play from the offense and new quarterback, Alex Smith, and are leading the league defensively in points allowed per game (10.2) while being ranked 7th in total yards allowed per game (306.2).  These statistics don’t bode we’ll for the Titans who will be without starting quarterback Jake Locker, who is out with a hip injury.  Ryan Fitzpatrick will start in place of Locker and try to help the Titans improve to 4-1.

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders:  Due to the Oakland Athletics playoff game on Saturday evening, this game is scheduled for a 9:35pm MST kickoff.  At that point in the day, Bronco fans will know if Denver and Kansas City remained undefeated.  For die-hard football fans, this late start will extend what is already a long, but pleasant day of football viewing.  The fact that this is an AFC West divisional game, I will attempt to stay up and watch, regardless of the fact it is the night before the start of another work week.  San Diego comes into this game 2-2 fresh off of a 30-21 impressive home win over the Dallas Cowboys.  The Oakland Raiders, on the other hand, limp into this game on a two game losing streak – one against the Broncos in week three, and last week against the Washington Redskins in Oakland.  Even though the Chargers are 2-2, Philip Rivers has shown signs of being an above-average quarterback this season and I would expect that to continue this week.  If the Chargers win as I expect, that would elevate their record to 3-2, while the Raiders would continue their tailspin at the bottom of the division, falling to 1-4.  My predictions mean little, however, and I am looking forward to see how the Chargers react to the black hole – which may be a little louder considering this game is now being televised nationally on the NFL Network due to the later start time.

Go Broncos – beat the Cowboys!

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