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State of the AFC West

Hello Bolts From The Bluers. Most of you know me as " 'tec". Now, apparently, I have a real name that appears next to my previous anonymous user-name. Incidentally, good news everyone!

I had the idea to do a weekly write-up on the state of our conference. For those that don't know, the Chargers play in the AFC West. This division consists of the San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, and Denver Broncos. What I will be doing is updating everyone on the status of the division: standings, notable good and bad performances, significant injuries, upcoming match-ups, etc. I'm just going to give it a go the first time around; everyone should add suggestions in the comment field below to make this better since site is for the fans!


Catch the rest AFTER THE JUMP!


AFC West Standings

Denver 6 0 0 133 66
San Diego 3 3 0 161 143
Oakland 2 5 0 62 177
Kansas City 1 6 0 105 181

(updated 10.27.2009 at 1:30 AM PDT)




As we all painfully know, Denver is leading the division at 6-0 while the Chargers are trailing behind in second at 3-3, which is 3 games back. With 10 games to go, and both teams done with their bye, there is still significant time left for the Chargers to catchup. Of course, we all know that we came back from 3 games down with 3 games to go last season, so anything is possible. Oakland is only 4 games back and Kansas City is only 5 games back, but nobody expects them to make any noise in the division. (Sorry AP don't ban me).


The Broncos were on a bye this week so there isn't much to say except that, if it is even possible, they got even healthier. The Broncos currently have no players on the injury report for their upcoming game against the Ravens. The only downside to their bye is that their schedule get's much tougher from here on out. 5 of their next 7 games are against tough opponents: @Baltimore, vs. Steelers, @Washigton, vs. San Diego, vs. New York, @KC, and @Indianapolis. That is a tough schedule for any team to play, regardless of how well they are playing. It will be tough to get out of that stretch with a winning record and a healthy roster. The Chargers, on the other hand, have a much easier schedule. Here is a look at the Broncos' injury report.

Denver Broncos Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Nick Greisen knee 08/05/2009



Another team's recent exploits that Charger fans are familiar with is the Kansas City Chiefs. As we saw, the Chiefs aren't doing anything well. Things aren't clicking on offense or defense. Matt Cassel isn't panning out so far to what the Chiefs had hoped; the argument could be made that the players around him aren't very good, but his play isn't helping matters. It appears as if he is the "system QB" that everyone thought he was, surrounded by excellent players. Only time will tell. The running game, with Jamaal Charles and Larry Johnson, isn't doing much either. Add in the "twittergate" message from Johnson criticizing his coach, who knows how much longer he'll be around. This is compounded by injuries to the offensive line. The Chiefs only scored once on Sunday, to WR Dwayne Bowe, the only bright spot on the team it seems. Center Rudy Niswanger was injured during our game last Sunday and looks to be out for week 9. Left tackle Branden Albert had to sit out the game against the Chargers as well. The good thing is, the Chiefs are on a bye this week, so they will have time to rest and heal up. The bad news is, they still have 9 games to play.

Kansas City Chiefs Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Rudy Niswanger knee 10/26/2009
Jarrad Page shoulder 10/26/2009
Branden Albert ankle 10/26/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Devard Darling knee 09/01/2009
Jackie Battle shoulder 10/14/2009
Colin Brown undisclosed 09/05/2009



The losers of 11 or more games over the past 6 seasons look like they will continue that streak. The Raiders can look decent one game and then look like absolute crap the next. Their game on Sunday represented one of the later. The Raiders got pasted 38-0 playing at home against the New York Jets in a game that was blacked out because they failed to sell out the game. Raiders fans are usually pretty loyal, so it says a lot that the Raiders are so bad that even Raider fans can't watch them. Most of this has to do with the horrific play of former first round draft pick Jamarcus Russell. In fact, he played so poorly in the first half of the game (2 INTs and a lost fumble), he was benched and replaced by journeyman Bruce Gradkowski. Speaking of first round picks, brilliant selection Darrius Heyward-Bey continued his ho-hum season with 2 catches for 28 yards. It isn't pretty on the defensive side of the ball either; the Raiders gave up 447 yards of offense including a whopping 316 yards on the ground. Chaz Schilens, a SDSU product WR whom the Raiders had high hopes for, has been sidelined the whole season, while other injuries to the offensive line have weakened the run offense. However, the Raiders problems run much deeper than injuries, as it is painfully obvious to everyone in the NFL except for a few lone stragglers.

Oakland Raiders Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Cornell Green calf 10/26/2009
Ricky Brown ankle 10/26/2009
Chaz Schilens foot 10/26/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
John Bowie knee 09/30/2009


I don't need to rehash anything about the Chargers so I will focus on our next division match-up which is of course the Oakland Raiders, this Sunday, at Qualcomm stadium. Of the aforementioned games where the Raiders looked decent, the Chargers game on MNF to open the season was one of them. The Raiders played us tough on both sides of the ball which resulted in numerous Charger injuries and a close call in Oakland. Fortunately, I don't think our 13th straight win over the Raiders will be as tough as the 12th. For one, the Raiders always play us tough at home and struggle at Qualcomm. Second, LT and Sproles are both healthy and the Raiders run defense is struggling mightily. The Chargers are going to continue to use the run game, especially since the Raiders have a decent secondary. Third, I don't think the Raiders will play with the same intensity they did the first time around. This team has been beaten down all season, gotten pushed around at home and on the road, and are coming off the Jets game in which they scored zero points and their starting QB was benched. Additionally, the Charger pass rush and defensive line play has looked much improved over the last two games. Raiders coach Tom Cable has said that Jamarcus Russell will start on Sunday; he is terribly inaccurate with all day in the pocket, if the Chargers put pressure on him I expect a game similar to the one Matt Cassel managed against us last Sunday. For the first time in awhile, the Chargers are mostly healthy except for All-Pro center Nick Hardwick, who is expected back in December.

San Diego Chargers Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Kevin Burnett ankle 10/27/2009
Buster Davis other-illness 10/26/2009
Vaughn Martin hamstring 10/26/2009

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ryon Bingham arm 09/05/2009
Jamal Williams triceps 09/19/2009
Antwan Applewhite hamstring 10/20/2009
Brandon Hughes knee 09/02/2009