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News from around the AFC West: Week 10

Manning for MVP? Big shakeups in Kansas City, and the Raiders are unusually quiet.


Denver Broncos

Things are starting to get a bit boring and routine in Denver. Not much controversy to talk about, the team just continues to win and stay out of the spotlight. After starting the season 2-3, the Broncos have now won 3 in a row (you're welcome) and are currently sitting at a 5-3 record; not too shabby.

It started to look like maybe the Bengals would be able to pull off the upset on Sunday. Down 17-3 in the third quarter, the Bengals would go on to score 17 unanswered points to take a 20-17 lead early in the 4th quarter. Bengals and Chargers fans everywhere were getting excited. Then Peyton Manning decided to finally show up in the second half — plus Andy Dalton got confused by which color his team was wearing — and the Broncos would go on to win: 31-23. Well, damn.

One of the things that should worry us Chargers fans: Peyton Manning is on pace to have one of his best seasons, ever. That's kind of impressive given this is just his first year on a brand new team. In fact, things are going so well for the veteran QB, there's already talk of him being this year's MVP. Blech.

This week, the Broncos head to Carolina. The upset potential is there for Carolina, as the Panthers have been playing rather well lately, but no one has noticed.

Kansas City Chiefs

Take the consistency and quietness of Denver, then turn it on its head and stomp all over it and maybe you'll get close to the train wreck that's happening in Kansas City. Once again, the Chiefs were embarrassed in a game, and once again it was at the hands of the San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs are now at 1-7 and still have yet to lead in a game. Naturally, it's time to make changes, right?

Oh boy, did they make changes: Romeo Crennel demoted himself as the teams's Defensive Coordinator and promoted linebackers coach Gary Gibbs to be the new DC. But that's not all! The team also cut CB Stanford Routt and signed DL Shaun Smith. The season is saved!

In all honesty, Stanford Routt has looked … bad. There were a number of reasons for cutting Routt and it only made sense to let him go. The season is lost anyway, no sense holding on to a guy who is due a $10 million option bonus next year.

Distractions aside, the Chiefs still have to play football. They essentially got a second bye week: they played the Chargers last Thursday and don't play again until Monday night in Pittsburgh; that's a full 11-day rest. The players probably could use it as they're still pretty banged up. The biggest storyline about the game Monday night is Todd Haley meeting against the team that fired him last year. The Steelers' first-year OC gets to take on his former team, and something tells me he won't go easy on them if given the chance.

Oakland Raiders

Anyone else notice how the Raiders are unusually quiet compared to years past? It's kind of eerie. No big scandals, no Al Davis, it's just eerily quiet.

Now that things have settled down in Oakland this year, they quietly were in contention for the AFC West crown. But with the Chargers and Broncos both winning last week, and the Raiders being embarrassed in Tampa Bay, they've now fallen 2 games back in the division.

They're certainly not out of it just yet, but with Darren McFadden in a walking boot and looking unlikely to play in Baltimore against the Ravens, their work is certainly cut out for them.

Umm, yeah, that's about it. Like I said, things are quiet in Oakland, and as such aren't very exciting.