AFC West Preview – Week Thirteen


Sep 14, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) catches in a touchdown against Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Chris Owens (20) and free safety Husain Abdullah (39) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The long Thanksgiving weekend comes to a close with a huge AFC West battle in the heartland of the country when the Denver Broncos face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.  For my thoughts on this game, as well as the other two games featuring the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, please continue reading.

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs: I’ve seen a number of NFL players say that they are only focused on the next game and that is the most important.  That couldn’t be more true today as the Broncos prepare to face the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night.  The Broncos are comig off a 39-36 victory over the Miami Dolphins, while the Kansas City Chiefs are ten days removed from a 24-20 loss against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland.  Considering where we’re at in the season, and the current standings in the AFC West, this is a huge game for the Broncos.  The Broncos are 8-3, which is one game ahead on the Kansas City Chiefs (7-4).  A Bronco victory in Kansas City would put the Broncos two games ahead of the Chiefs and give them the tie-breaker over the Chiefs due to the season sweep.  While a victory would be an advantage for the Broncos, it will not come easy by any means for two reasons:  the Broncos haven’t been very good on the road this season and let’s face it, Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday night is one of the most difficult venues to play at in the league, if not the toughest.  The Broncos have played on the road a total of five times and have lost three of those times.  While losses at Seattle and New England were disappointing and somewhat expected,  the loss to the St. Louis Rams two weeks ago was unexpected and seemed to be the low point of the season thus far.  The Broncos must find a way to overcome their road woes at Kansas City or it may be a very long night for Broncos Country.  Given the Arrowhead noise that you KNOW will be present and the weather, it is absolutely imperative that the Broncos are able to establish the run.  If they are able to achieve that, it will allow Peyton Manning and the Bronco receivers to open it up a bit.  If the Broncos can move the ball and score it will help silence the 75,000+ fans in attendance.  I know a victory for the Broncos will be difficult tonight but by no means, is it out of the question.  Regarding the Chiefs and Broncos, nothing would surprise me at this point – a close win or a blowout, by either team.  All that being said, my heart hopes it will be a Bronco blowout but that is a bit unrealistic.  Hey, it doesn’t hurt to hope!  Actually, I don’t care what the score is, as long as it is in the Broncos favor.  Go Broncos!

Oakland Raiders at St. Louis Rams: The Raiders are coming off their first win of the season and for the first time in what seems like an eternity, are looking to establish a winning streak.  Two weeks ago, I would have said this would be very possible for the Raiders but I can’t put out of my mind that the St. Louis Rams were able to beat the Broncos 22-7 in St. Louis.  If the Rams were able to control the Broncos and Peyton Manning, I am confident that they will be able to control Derek Carr and the Raiders.  I imagine though the defending AFC Champions and Peyton Manning tend to motivate you a bit more than the 1-10 Oakland Raiders!  While the Raiders are coming off a win, the Rams are coming off of 27-24 loss to the San Diego Chargers in week twelve.  The outcome of this game absolutely has no impact on the Broncos, so I will go with my original thought that the Rams should win this one easily.  The Raiders have won only one game this season so by no means have they found all the answers that would allow them to turn the corner.  Considering the Raiders are an arch-rival of the Broncos, I do hope the Rams win.  Given that, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Raiders went to St. Louis and won just because that is how this league is!

San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens: Both San Diego and Baltimore enter this game at 7-4 and find themselves right in the hunt for divisional championships in their respective divisions.  The Chargers at 7-4 find themselves tied with the Chiefs, and the Ravens have the same record as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, which is one game behind the Cincinnati Bengals.  Not only do the Chargers and Ravens share the same win-loss record, they are also both on a two game winning streak.  For one of these teams, it will end today.  For the sake of the Broncos, I am hoping that the Ravens win today but in reality I can live with either team winning.  There is a spot in my heart that still holds a grudge against the Ravens for the divisional playoff game two years ago – some things don’t go away easily if you’re a die-hard Bronco fan.  The Chargers still have games remaining against the Chiefs and Broncos so no doubt, they will be very motivated as they face off against the Ravens today!

Go Broncos – beat the Chiefs!

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