AFC West Preview – Week Fourteen


Nov 30, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) is pressured by Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

If the NFL season was a NASCAR race, the white flag would be waived today signaling one more lap to go.  The final month of the season has started and the Denver Broncos are right in the thick of things, as we expected.  Unfortunately, the Broncos will need help if the AFC road to the Super Bowl goes through Denver but that was the case last year. as well  Today the Broncos host the Buffalo Bills as they start the final quarter of the 2014 season.  For my thoughts on this game, as well as the other three games featuring AFC West teams, please continue reading.

Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos:  Kyle Orton returns to Denver, this time as the starting quarterback for the opposition.  Orton is wearing number 18 for the Bills so I guess we could say it is a battle of the 18’s!  I will take the Broncos number 18 over the Bills number 18 any day, no offense to Orton but come on, Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.  I will be watching today to see if the Broncos rushing attack can continue its domination.  If the trend continues, C.J. Anderson should rush for 169 yards today considering he rushed for 167 and 168 yards the last two games.  Actually, I will be content with anything around 100 yards and a couple of scores.  Another aspect I am looking forward to is to watching the Broncos defense.  The defensive unit performed very well in Kansas City so I am hoping that continues today.  Both the rushing attack and the Broncos defense dominating teams are crucial aspects as the season winds down and we look ahead to the playoffs.  The Bills enter the game with a 7-5 record and in the playoff hunt to I expect it to be a well fought battle.  Unfortunately, that means it will probably be a bit closer than I would like, which will make more nervous than I like.  At least it should be entertaining!

San Francisco 49ers at Oakland Raiders: So, will the Raiders score today?  I am not so sure considering their performance last week against the St. Louis Rams.  I’m not even going to consider the fact that the Raiders could upset the 49ers today – it just doesn’t seem remotely possible.  As I stated in my week thirteen recap, the watch for the “first pick in the draft” has started and the Raiders are leading the pack at 1-11.  Being a Bronco fan I obviously have a dislike for the Raiders, Chiefs, and Chargers – at this point I am hoping the Raider lose their remaining four games so when I look back on the 2014 season I can say, with a smile on my face, the only Raiders win came against the Kansas City Chiefs.  Considering the area of the country I live in, that would be a HUGE win-win for me!

New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers: Whenever the Broncos play, that is always the biggest the game of the week for me.  The second biggest game of week fourteen is the Patriots and Chargers on Sunday Night Football.  As much as I don’t want to see the Chargers perform well and win a game, I have to do it tonight.  As the season comes to an end, the Broncos need help from other teams to beat New England in order to gain home-field advantage in the playoffs.  Tonight seems possible that the Chargers have a shot at beating the Patriots.  I am cautiously optimistic because if you recall nationally televised night games in the past, the Chargers blew a large halftime lead against the Broncos and the Patriots came back from a large halftime deficit against the Broncos to win.  While these two games were from previous seasons, it just shows me that anything is possible so you never know what’s going to happen tonight.  I am excited to end my weekend watching the Chargers and Patriots since I have a bit of hope considering the Chargers come from behind victory last week against the Baltimore Ravens; a win like that may provide momentum this week.  The Patriots are similar to the Dallas Cowboys in my opinion, you either love them or hate them.  While there will be some Patriot fans in attendance, I am sure the crowed will be predominantly Charger faithful and they will be fired up tonight.

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals: So, how will the Chiefs perform against the 9-3 Cardinals after the disappointing loss to the Denver Broncos a week ago?  The 29-16 loss last week definitely put a damper on the Chiefs season and potentially the post season.  The Cardinals are leading the NFC West but have lost two straight and are without their starting quarterback, Carson Palmer.  I am hoping Arizona can hand Kansas City their third straight loss, which would definitely put the hopes of the Chiefs season continuing into January seem very unlikely.  If that is to happen, it will be up to the Cardinals defense given the quarterback situation I’ve already mentioned.  Either way, I would expect Jamaal Charles to have a decent game because believe it or not, the Chiefs wide receivers have not scored a touchdown twelve games into the season.

Go Broncos – beat the Bills!