AFC West Recap – Week Twelve


Nov 23, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (22) runs for a touchdown during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 39-36. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Thanksgiving Day has come and gone and only a few hours remain of Black Friday, so that means that another NFL Sunday is almost here.  Before shifting my attention to week thirteen in the NFL or another piece of leftover pumpkin pie, I am posting my thoughts on the week twelve matchup between the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins, as well as the other two games featuring teams in the AFC West.

Miami Dolphins at Denver Broncos: After a dismal performance in St. Louis, the Denver Broncos returned home for an opportunity to correct the ship and take sole possession of first place in the AFC West (thanks to the Oakland Raiders win over the Kansas City Chiefs).  While it wasn’t pretty, and at times, I honestly thought the Broncos would fall to 7-4, the Broncos were able to get the win and stake claim to sole possession of first place in the AFC West… at least for a week.  Leading up to the game against Miami, the Broncos rushing attack, or lack of, was heavily scrutinized due to their performance in St. Louis.  Whatever the Broncos did to resolve some of their problems in the running game worked because the Broncos rushed for a total of 201 yards against the Dolphins.  Kudos to C.J. Anderson, who rushed for 167 yards and one touchdown, as well as the offensive line that paved the way for him.  Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas, and Emmanuel Sanders, once again had great performances in the passing game.  Manning finished the day with twenty-eight completions for 257 yards and four touchdowns.  Demaryius Thomas had ten catches for 87 yards and three touchdowns, while Sanders added another 125 yards with his nine receptions.  Manning’s fourth touchdown pass of the day went to Wes Welker.  While I would have liked to see the Broncos win this game a bit more easily, I know there is no such thing as an easy win in the NFL.  Ryan Tannehill proved to be a threat that the Broncos had a difficult time containing at times.  Tannehill ended the day with 228 passing yards and three touchdowns, but did have an interception in the fourth quarter.  In the end, the Broncos made enough plays on both sides of the ball that allowed them to escape week twelve with a 39-36 win.  It doesn’t get any easier for the Broncos as they travel to Arrowhead for a Sunday night battle against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders:  The Raiders got their very first win of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs!  Despite the fact that the Raiders won, this game was huge for the Broncos as it knocked the Chiefs down in the divisional standings, which is a plus considering the Chiefs and Broncos were tied for first place in the division entering week twelve.  Please click here to read my Week Twelve AFC West Preview post that includes more thoughts on the Raiders upset of the Kansas City Chiefs.

St. Louis Rams at San Diego Chargers: I expected the San Diego Chargers to beat the St. Louis Rams because that is how the NFL is!  The Rams had the upset of the week definitely, if not the year, in week eleven when they beat the Broncos 22-7.  Considering the Rams were able to beat the Broncos, football fans should be able to assume that the Rams would easily beat the San Diego Chargers.  Yeah, right!  San Diego came away from their week twelve matchup against the Rams with a 27-24 victory.  The Shaun Hill I think Bronco fans were expecting to see in St. Louis showed up in San Diego; Hill completed 18 of his 35 passes for only 198 yards and a touchdown but had two interceptions.  Ryan Matthews and Keenan Allen had very productive days for the Chargers; Matthews rushed for 105 yards and touchdown while Allen had six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown.  The victory keeps the Chargers right in the hunt for the division championship as they improved their record to 7-4, which is the same record as the Chiefs.  The Chiefs and Broncos square off this week, while San Diego faces the 7-4 Baltimore Ravens.

Go Broncos!