AFC West Preview – Week Thirteen
Nov 17, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) gets caught up with Kansas City Chiefs strong safety Eric Berry (29) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Happy Thanksgiving Broncos Country!
Thanksgiving in the United States – family, friends, food, football, and more food! Three NFL games are on the docket on Thanksgiving to kickoff week thirteen, one of them featuring a team from the AFC West – the Oakland Raiders. Not only am I glad it is Thanksgiving Day – I am glad week thirteen is here because the sooner the Denver Broncos take the field, the sooner Bronco fans can move on from the Sunday night meltdown in New England! For my thoughts on each game featuring an AFC West team this week, please continue reading.
Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys: Before the 2013 schedule was released I really thought the league would send the Broncos to Dallas for this holiday tradition. Obviously, that is not the case, and we’ll have to settle for the Oakland Raiders against “America’s Team”. I am hoping this will be a close contest, but given the way these two teams have played this year I just don’t know what to expect. Dallas is coming off a 24-21 victory over the New York Giants, while the Raiders lost 23-19 at home against the Tennessee Titans. The Cowboys are in the midst of a battle for the division, and a playoff spot, while the Raiders in all likelihood are done after week sixteen. That reasoning, combined with the fact that Dallas seems to always have a slight advantage on Thanksgiving, makes me lean toward the Cowboys to win this game. Usually, I tend to pull for any team playing an AFC West team since it helps the Broncos, but today is different. Assuming the Broncos control their own destiny (i.e. win all their remaining games and they get home field advantage), I would like to see the Raiders go to Dallas and spoil the home teams Thanksgiving.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs: Thanks to the Sunday night collapse in the second half of last week’s game, this game now becomes a must win for the Broncos – not only to win the division and playoff seeding/home field advantage, but to prove that this team is a legitimate contender for the Super Bowl. I can only guess that as the wheels came off the orange and blue bus last week against the New England Patriots, the Patriot fans got louder and more into the game. I expect nothing less this week at Arrowhead. The once undefeated Chiefs have lost two in a row to divisional teams no less, the Chiefs want revenge against Denver for ending their undefeated season, and this game is just as important to the Chiefs as it is the Broncos, so the crowd will be as loud, if not louder than what the Broncos faced last Sunday. The Broncos come into this game a bit banged up so that doesn’t help. A huge concern for the Broncos has to be turnovers! If the Broncos don’t control the ball better than they did in New England, come Sunday night the Broncos will have a two game losing streak, and be in second place in the AFC West. Both Denver and Kansas City laid eggs last week, albeit the Broncos egg was a bit larger than the Chiefs egg; which team rebounds the best on Sunday, will possibly secure the division crown.
Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers: The Chargers are still alive in the playoff hunt and are coming off of a thrilling, last second win against division rival, the Kansas City Chiefs, in week twelve. I expect that win, along with the season winding down and the playoff race still tight, to propel the Chargers to their second straight win. The Chargers will not have an easy game against Cincinnati by any means. The Bengals bring a 7-4 record to San Diego and find themselves in first place in the AFC North. Considering the Chargers went to Arrowhead and escaped with a victory, which is no easy task, the Bengals can prove something if they improve their record to 8-4 by beating the Chargers. The Broncos would benefit somewhat from a Chargers loss so I hope the Bengals can win this one, but something tells me the Chargers will prevent this.
Go Broncos – beat the Chiefs!
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