j-man's Week 8 AFC West breakdown:
Kansas City Chiefs - They keep winning and I think Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis are the different. Going forward, will they be able to pass the ball against teams that can stop their running game? There is hope for the rest of the division, since the Chiefs have 6 tough games left (TEN, @STL, @SEA, @OAK, @SD, @DEN). While KC is the favorite to win the division at this point, can they play as the hunted rather than the hunters?
Oakland Raiders - Wow. Last week was shocking. Who knows what this team is. They are great one week, and then bad the next. They are talented, but nobody in their right mind can pick this team to win a game. The key to their victories, including last week, is Darren McFadden. He played like the #4 overall pick he originally was. You can look at their dominating win over Denver one of two ways, either Denver is really that bad at stopping the run or Darren McFadden is finally healthy for the first time in his career. This is the definition of a Jekyll and Hyde team.
San Diego Chargers - Well, they have talent but they turn the ball over far too much. They should be 6-1. Some people will tell you that the team misses Vincent Jackson and that's the reason for the losses, but they are wrong. The turnovers, plus the league's worst special teams, have been the real culprits. If the Chargers split the next 4 games and then win-out, they stand a good chance of making the playoffs. One thing they'll have to get more consistent with, along with better Special Teams and ball control, is their pass rush.
Denver Broncos - There are two paths that they could take for the rest of the season. The first is that they could completely go into the tank, finishing with 3 or 4 wins for the season, and stay in the midst of a long rebuilding phase. The second is that they could man up, finish 8-8, and be ready for a strong 2011 season. Their current issues are numerous: they can not run or stop the run, the offensive line can not block for runs or protect the QB, and after a healthy 2009 season they have had too many injuries this season. Josh McDaniels seems like he's a fan of the Madden video game series, because it's the only place where his offense works.
After the break, a list of what to watch amongst this week's early games. Comment along during the games below.