AFC West Preview – Week Seventeen


Sep 23, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) catches a pass during the second half against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 37-21. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

While I am anxiously awaiting the start of the NFL playoffs (because the Denver Broncos have secured a spot in the twelve team tournament), the last Sunday of the regular season is always bittersweet for me because another regular season comes to an end.  There is nothing like a football Sunday, at least for me!  For my thoughts on the Broncos last regular season game against the Oakland Raiders, as well as the other game in the AFC West, please continue reading.

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos: In a way, this is a must win for the Broncos as they close out the 2014 regular season.  The Broncos must win this game in order to have a bye next week and to remove the funk that was cast over Dove Valley and all of Broncos Country after last weeks poor performance in Cincinnati.  Hopefully the Broncos will win easily today and the team that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing the last few years will show up today; not the team we saw in St. Louis or Cincinnati.  It is crucial the Broncos click on all cylinders today so confidence will be high entering the playoffs – both at Dove Valley and all of Broncos Country.  I hate to go here but if the Broncos don’t win today all is not lost.  We will have to live with the fact that the 3-12 Oakland Raiders beat the Broncos and the fact that the Broncos will probably be playing a wildcard game due to the fact that they will be seeded lower than number two in the AFC playoffs.  It is cliche but anything can happen in the playoffs – remember when the Jacksonville Jaguars came to Denver following the 1996 season?  Obviously, the aforementioned scenario is the worst case scenario in so many ways, but if that happens, remember that the 1997-98 Denver Broncos lost two out of their last three regular season games before winning three playoff games (two on the road) before beating the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII.  As fans we can hope for the best Bronco scenario but in the end, we will have to rely on the Bronco players and coaches to perform their jobs well!  Good luck Broncos – make us proud today!

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs: Talk about must win games – if the San Diego Chargers win today they get a wildcard birth; the Chiefs need to win and get help from either the Jacksonville Jaguars or Cleveland Browns in order to get into the playoffs.  Considering that Jacksonville is playing the Houston Texans today and Cleveland is playing the Baltimore Ravens, I would say that the Chiefs season will probably come to an end today, which doesn’t break my heart at all.  The fact that Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith is out due to a lacerated spleen, leads me to believe that San Diego will win and advance to the playoffs, thus ending the Chiefs  bid at consecutive playoff appearances.  Actually, I thought San Diego had a decent shot of winning today even if Smith was behind center.  Now that Chase Daniels is getting only the second start of his six year career, I am pretty confident that the Chargers can and will win.  Daniels started last year in week seventeen at San Diego (San Diego won 27-24 in overtime) but that was because the Chiefs rested their starters because they were locked into the fifth playoff seed.  Today, Daniels will not have the same luxury as last year because today is a must win for Kansas City.  Call me crazy, but there has to be a bit more pressure on Daniels today than last year at this time; more butterflies in the stomach today than a year ago.  A very interesting tidbit that makes you go hmmmmm is the fact that Daniels 2-yard touchdown pass to Dexter McCluster last year in San Diego was the last touchdown pass that has been thrown to a Chiefs wide receiver.  Will that streak be broken today?  The Chiefs defense will keep them in the game and I do expect to see a lot of pressure on Philip Rivers.  The perfect scenario for this Bronco fan would be that Kansas City wins today, knocking the Chargers out of the playoffs, and the Chiefs season also ends when Jacksonville or Cleveland are unable to win their respective games.

Go Broncos – beat the Raiders!

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