Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
It's our weekly check of the NFL happenings in the AFC West (outside San Diego, of course).
Another week, another round of questioning Peyton Manning's arm strength. Apparently the fact that he went 33-for-44 and threw for 345 yards and 3 Touchdowns in a loss at New England is lost on the media. That's a good day in any quarterback's book. Look, I'm far from Manning's biggest fan, but he still has it in him to be a solid NFL quarterback and the Chargers will have their hands full on Monday night.
All eyes will be on Qualcomm Stadium Monday night as the buzz around the nation is that whoever wins Monday's game will be the heir-apparent to the AFC West throne. Should the Broncos lose, they'll be two games back on the division-leading Chargers. Also if the Chargers win, they will be 3-0 in the division with Denver sitting at 1-1. So a loss for Denver certainly makes things more difficult for them. Not to mention, teams that start the season 2-4 go on to win on average 6 games on the season and have a 15% chance at a winning record.
Should Denver win, well, then they would be tied with the Chargers at 3-3 and make the AFC West division race a bit more interesting. But that's not going to happen so let's not worry about it here, shall we?
In somewhat of a pleasant surprise for Denver, no new players were placed on IR this week and no major injuries came out of the Patriots game.
More Denver Broncos News
- Broncos forced to predict how much Chargers will use Ryan Mathews
- Broncos defense must get set at the line quicker against Chargers
- Manning has struggled against Chargers
Looks like fans in Kansas City are getting their wish: QB Matt Cassel has been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Buccaneers due to the concussion he suffered in Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Brady Quinn will make his first start in 3 years.
Speaking of the fans in Kansas City, apparently their tact and class has been called into question this week. It seems a certain contingency inside Arrowhead Stadium erupted into cheers and applause when Cassel was knocked to the ground and obviously injured. It even drove Chiefs OT Eric Winston to call the fans out and called their actions "sickening."
So the Chiefs head in to Tampa Bay this weekend, where the game will be blacked out. And I thought San Diego was the only city having issues filling their stadium? Fans are actually somewhat confident heading into this game. The Chiefs running game and defense both looked pretty good against the Ravens this week. They were able to hold Baltimore to just 3 field goals, so it was certainly a winnable game against a tough Baltimore team.
Outside of Cassel's concussion, the Chiefs, like the Broncos, have caught a break this week on the injury front; there were no new major injuries this week. At just 1-4, the Chiefs are all but out of the hunt for the AFC West crown. A loss in Tampa will all but put a nail in the coffin of their playoff hopes.
More Kansas City Chiefs News
- Chiefs injury updates: Jon Baldwin, Cyrus Gray both miss practice
- Who started the Scott Pioli contract extension rumor?
- Clark Hunt releases statement supporting Chiefs fans
Things are a little quiet in the Bay Area this week. Well, not all that quiet as the A's and Giants are both playing in the MLB playoffs. But this is an NFL site so we focus on NFL news, so for our purposes, it was a quiet week in the Bay Area with the Raiders enjoying their bye week.
The Raiders headed into their bye week demoralized, suffering an embarrassing 35-6 loss in Denver. But the good thing about having a bye week: you can't lose! And since the Chiefs did lose this week, the Raiders were able to move out of the cellar, just by sitting idle. The Raiders now have a half-game lead over the Chiefs. In fact, the Raiders lost no ground in the division this week as all 3 AFC West teams lost.
Oakland is going to have their work cut out for themselves if they want to stay out of the cellar: they head out east to face the Atlanta Falcons. Like the Chargers did to the NFC East in 2009, looks like the Falcons just might sweep the AFC West.
All hope is not lost in Oakland however: they're only a half game back on the Broncos too. A Raider win and a Broncos loss puts the Raiders a half game up on the Broncos and in second place. Though, a Broncos loss also means the Chargers would stay a game and a half up on the Raiders.
More Oakland Raiders News