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AFC West Round Up

Oakland Raiders (2-5)

This past weekend, the Raiders lost to the Titans 13 to 9 in a game that featured Vince Young passing for 42 yards, 14 penalties by by the Raiders and a Mike Williams drop on 4th down at the end of the game that sealed the fate of Oakland.

The Raiders had two turnovers to the Titans none, which puts the Raiders at -6 for the season in the turnover ratio. Daunte Culpepper passed for 167 yards and threw one pick. How the Titans won this game with Vince Young only completing six passes is beyond me. Well, actually it isn't. I caught a good portion of this game and the Tennessee defensive line, DT Albert Haynesworth especially, were constantly in the backfield of the Raiders.

The Raiders had more first downs; a higher 3rd down conversion rate; held the ball for five minutes longer than the Titans; and gained more total yards than the Titans. But the Raiders could not get into the end zone. They settled for three Sebastian Janikowski field goals and the loss.

I'm getting very close to discounting the Raiders entirely this season. Their offense is worse than ours. Well, maybe not that bad but they've been unable to get into the red zone against good defenses this year. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have our last place AFC West team right here.

Denver Broncos (3-4)

I must confess I didn't see this game but judging from what I read, it followed the Denver Bronco 2007 season plot line to a T in a 19 to 13 loss to the Packers last night.

Yet again, the fate of the Broncos rested on a Jason Elam kick with time expiring. Yet again, Elam hit the kick but this time it was for the tie, not the win. Elam's kick sent the game to overtime where, on the first play from scrimmage, Brett Favre hit Greg Jennings for an 82 yard touchdown pass for the Green Bay win.

The Packers committed thirteen penalties and unlike the Raiders, were actually able to pull out a win. The Packers win is easily summed up by Brett Favre's two touchdown passes of 79 and 82 yards respectfully. If the Broncos don't give up just one of those bombs, the outcome of the game is probably different. Also, if the Broncos don't fumble the ball on the Green bay one-yard line in the second quarter, they also stand a much better chance of winning last night's game. The Packers did not turn the ball over and there you go. Green Bay wins.

The wolves are already descending on the Denver Broncos. Faced with a sub .500 season through seven games, many Bronco fans have already justified the results of 2007 as a "rebuilding" year. Injuries and age have not been kind to the 2007 Broncos. The Broncos really do have trouble finishing games, don't they?

San Diego Chargers (4-3)

Welcome to the party, San Diego. After starting the season 1-3, the Chargers have won three games to sit tied atop the AFC West with our beloved Chiefs.

The Chargers fourth win of the season came at the brutal expense of the Houston Texans, who the Chargers walloped 35 to 10 on Sunday. A rather unimpressive offense day numbers-wise from the Chargers was offset by the Texans' five turnovers, with Matt Schaub and Sage Rosenfels both throwing two interceptions a piece.

Philip Rivers passed for three touchdowns, two of them to Antonio Gates and one to the newly minted Charger Chris Chambers. The Chargers also scored two defensive touchdowns, one on a botched Texan punt and the other on a 70-yard INT return for a touchdown.

The things went the Chargers way this week and they were still able to sit back and relax in the second half. San Diego is back in the rhythm I expected them to be in all season long. They have a tough go of it over the next three weeks, as they play the Vikings (great run defense), the Colts and the Jags. Expect the Chargers to be the only serious competitors for the Chiefs in the AFC West.

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