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The AFC West Round Up

Team W L PF PA
Kansas City Chiefs 4 3 102 113
San Diego Chargers 3 3 137 119
Denver Broncos 3 3 106 164
Oakland Raiders 2 4 126 140

The San Diego Chargers

Since the Chargers lost to the Chiefs in Week 4, they've played the Broncos and the Raiders. And pretty much stomped them both.

The Chargers' Week 5 match up against the Broncos was their breakout game if you will. The Chargers garnered 484 total yards, forced three Bronco turnovers while not allowing one themselves. RB Michael Turner and LaDainian Tomlinson combined for over 200 yards rushing on 31 attempts. Philip Rivers, in only 18 pass attempts, completed 13 of them for 270 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Broncos had a decent game in the air but couldn't get much going on the ground. You could certainly say that the Chargers were back to their 2006 selves against the Broncos.

The Chargers were never seriously challenged in the second half of their 28 to 14 win over the Raiders in Week 6. LT ran for nearly 200 yards by himself and Philip Rivers was again asked to be a caretaker, only passing the ball 21 times.

The biggest news for the Chargers since our last AFC West round up was the signing of former Miami Dolphin WR Chris Chambers. Here is what Rob from BoltHype has to say about it:

"In Chambers, the Chargers are getting a proven veteran wide out who has great size and experience. Eric Parker's current injury may have been a factor in AJ Smith's decision to make a trade. It looks like Parker might miss even more time, and with no real veteran leadership at the wide receiver position, the Bolts feel Chambers can help them.

Personally, I have always liked Chris Chambers. I like how he attacks the ball and is physical after contact. His skill set is going to fit into our offensive philosophy under Norv Turner, who coached Chambers in Miami."

Chris Chambers doesn't possess the skill level to single-handedly catapult the Chargers to the post season but he will be a much bigger threat than the Chargers have now.

In the next three weeks, the Chargers play the Texans at home, go on the road against Minnesota and host Indianapolis on Sunday night football in Week 10. They play the Chiefs again, at Arrowhead, in Week 13. Right now, they are beginning to look like the 14-2 team of a year ago but I wouldn't hold your breath just yet.

The Denver Broncos

What does it mean when all three of a team's wins have come on game-winning field goals? It means the line between sitting at .500 and being winless is an extremely fine one.

In case you hadn't heard, the Broncos are terrible, awful, unspeakably bad at defending the run. They rank last in the league in terms of rush defense, giving up an average of 176 yards a game. The Miami Dolphins are #31 in the league against the rush and they give up twenty yards less a game on average than the Broncos.

Now, to the Broncos credit, they have played a difficult schedule to date. After squeaking by with wins against the Bills and the Raiders in Weeks 1 and 2, the Broncos have played Jacksonville, Indianapolis, San Diego and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The only team they beat in that stretch was the Steelers, with, you guessed it, a last-second field goal by Jason Elam.

The Broncos are averaging 17.7 points a game, which is good for the no. 26 spot in the league. The Chiefs are right behind them at the no. 27 spot at 14.4 points a game.

Here is what one of the commenters at Mile High Report had to say following the win against the Steelers:

"We obviously still need to concentrate on our run defense, 3rd down D, and goaline. We were subpar in all three of those areas last night and that won't win us many games down the road. We absolutely MUST figure out a way to close games on defense. We got "lucky" again because we have a strong armed competitor at QB who saved our defense's ass last night...again. Not since John Elway have I seen a Bronco QB able to put a team on his shoulders to victory.

As for Cutler, the interceptions do not bother me that much. Everyone forgets how many INTs Elway threw in his first couple of years. The fact is this kid likes to compete and to win.

My feeling long term is that we will continue to struggle to improve on Defense and the victories we do get will be close, heartstopping moments. Yet, I also see a few more big losses in our future. The Broncos D needs to prove to me that they are stable before I commit to saying we are going to be a force to be reckoned with."

With the AFC West rife with parity this year, a .500 record nearing the halfway point of the season isn't too shabby. I don't think the Broncos have the defense to string together enough wins to keep them in contention but I wouldn't count them out either.
The Oakland Raiders

I don't want to spend much time going over the Raiders because we gathered some great current info on them last week leading up to the game. The Raiders are about as middle of the road as you can get in the AFC. They are ranked 15th in points; 21st in offensive yards, 29th in passing yards and 4th in rushing yards.

Through the rest of the season, the Raiders will play the Jaguars, the Colts and the stingy run defense of the Minnesota Vikings. The Raiders will not be able to have enough wins towards the end of the season to be taken seriously as a division competitor. Their greatest role, more than likely, will be as a spoiler for an AFC West team.

Here is what saint had to say at Silver and Black Pride right before the game against the Chiefs:

"Whoever loses tomorrow can say Good-Bye to the season.

I know it is early, but with Jacksonville, Green Bay, Tennessee, Chicago AND Indy left on the schedule, that would mean that the Raiders would have to sweep the second round against their division after this, to even have a shot at winning the AFC West.

A Win tomorrow would end a streak for futility that dates back to the pre-merger days...Perhaps.

For nearly three entire seasons the Raiders have not beaten one Divisional foe.

As Raider fans we do not need to relive the specifics again, we just need to HOPE that our team wins tomorrow."

The Raiders inability to beat anyone in the AFC West pretty much seals their fate as cellar dwellers.

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