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News from around the AFC West: Week 9

It seems like all the teams in the AFC West are receiving various honors, except for the Chargers of course.

More of this, please.
More of this, please.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chargers play the Chiefs tonight. Apparently the rest of the nation is seeing this game as the worst game that NFL Network has aired on Thursday yet this season. Is it difficult to argue with that? I think what's more surprising is that NFLN lucked into have 8 quality games prior to tonight.

The Brady Quinn era in Kansas City didn't even last one quarter before Quinn was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Former starting-QB Matt Cassel — who has suffered his own concussion this year too — took Quinn's place. It wasn't much help, as the Raiders dismantled the Chiefs 26-16 at Arrowhead. This drops the Chiefs to 1-6 and the Raiders climb to 3-4.

Being such a short week, there hasn't been much time to dwell on the loss to the Raiders. Matt Cassel will be the Chiefs starter tonight against the Chargers. But, there was enough time to second-guess the play calling against the Raiders. Star Running Back Jamaal Charles carried the ball just 5 times in the entire game. When asked why that was, Head Coach Romeo Crennel simply stated that he didn't know why. Okay ...

Oh, and the Chiefs still have yet to lead in a game, making them the first team since 1940 to go seven games to start a season without having a lead. It would be just like the Chargers to allow them to break that streak.

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Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos really seem to be gelling together now. They completely embarrassed the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night, and only appear to be getting better. That seems like a pretty scary thought given the Chargers are now one game back on the Broncos right now, thanks to the loss to the Browns.

In fact, things are going so well in Denver right now, Peyton Manning was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Month for October, even though the Broncos' bye week was in October. On behalf of the Chargers: you're welcome, Peyton.

After a few quiet weeks on the injury front, the Broncos have placed MLB Joe Mays on IR, with Safety Duke Ihenacho moving up from the practice squad to take his spot on the roster. The thought was D.J. Williams would take Mays open roster spot, but he has yet to complete his suspension from the NFL, so that move must wait a little longer. To fill the open Practice Squad spot, the Broncos signed Free–Agent Cornerback Mario Butler to the Practice Squad.

Denver heads to Cincinnati this week to take on a reeling Bengals team. Even if the Chargers take down the Chiefs tonight, I don't expect a tie atop the AFC West again come Sunday. Then again, crazier things have happened.

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Oakland Raiders

To start the season, it looked like the Raiders would continue being a laughing stock. Then they knocked off the Steelers and people started to take notice. Now the Raiders are tied with the Chargers at 3-4 and only 1 game back on the Broncos for the division lead. Did anyone see that coming?

Then again, outside of the Steelers, the Raiders have beaten the Jaguars and the Chiefs; the 2 absolute worst teams in the NFL right now. Also, the Raiders are just 1-2 in the division, while the Chargers are 2-1 (hopefully about to go 3-1), so that removes some of the excitement of the Raiders' latest success.

Denver isn't the only team in the AFC West receiving "Player of the Month" honors: Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski was named the Special Teams Player of the Month for October.

Looking to Sunday, the Raiders host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Two teams that have trouble selling tickets to their home games, so it's no surprise the Raiders needed a 24-hour extension to avoid a blackout.

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