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News from Around the AFC West: Week 2


Denver Broncos

Are people still worried about Peyton Manning's neck exploding? Is that still a thing? Well, okay. Manning survived week one of the NFL against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Broncos took care of Big Ben's Steelers 31-19.

This has done nothing to quiet the overreactions in Denver (and the rest of the nation really). To quote one Chris Collinsworth: "Expectations were already sky-high here in Denver, but after beating the Steelers, there is going to be a lot of Super Bowl talk around here." Really? Already talking Super Bowl after just one game, and beating a team that was missing several key players on defense? Also, Dick LeBeau (Pittsburgh's Defensive Coordinator) is 1-7 against Peyton Manning. Much like the Chargers always seemed to have Peyton's number in Indy, Manning seems to have the Steelers defense's number. So let's temper our Super Bowl expectations a little bit, shall we?

Moving on, a lot has been made of the errors made by the replacement refs in this game. There was one large egregious error made when the officials forgot to put 44 seconds back on the clock after a Mike Tomlin challenge. Ouch. It didn't matter in the end, but it's just another in a long line of errors made by these replacement refs. Whether or not they're actually any worse than the regular refs, I can't say, but people in Denver seem to be a bit upset about it. I'm sure fans in Pittsburgh are annoyed to when plays like this don't get called:

This week, the Broncos are getting ready to play the Atlanta Falcons on the road. After Matt Ryan and the Falcons dismantled Kansas City's defense this past weekend, it's clear that Denver's defense is going to have their hands full on Sunday; and they're going to have to do it without DE Ty Warren. Warren was a solid Defensive End for the Patriots, but injuries issues seem to follow him every season. He missed the entire 2011 season with a tear to his tricep, and he seems to be out for the rest of the 2012 season with the same injury. Ouch.

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Kansas City Chiefs

Did everyone catch this past Sunday's game where the Chiefs hosted the Atlanta Falcons? Slightly delicious watching the Chiefs get shredded by Matt Ryan, wasn't it? Then did you get scared like me realizing the Chargers have to play the Falcons this year too and the Falcons have proven to be a tough matchup in the past? Aaaanyway ...

Kansas City actually held their own quite well in the first half. The Falcons led the Chiefs by only 3 at halftime (20-17), but then the wheels came off in the second half. Probably the best part of the game was Tony Gonzalez paying tribute to his time in Kansas City after he scored a Touchdown for the Falcons:


The Falcons would go on to win 40-24. That doesn't bode well for Kansas City's defense. In slight fairness to the Chiefs, however, they were missing key defensive players in Brandon Flowers (injury) and Tamba Hali (suspension).

Looking forward to this weekend, the Chiefs head to Buffalo to take on the Bills. The Bills are coming off an embarrassing showing against the Jets. Who knows how the Bills will react against the Chiefs. They could either have a fire lit under them, or they could just lay down like they did against the Jets.

Tamba Hali's suspension has been served and he's back with the Chiefs. Brandon Flowers still is limited in practice this week, much like he has the last 6 weeks, and his status for Sunday's game is also questionable. Anthony Toribio, Allen Bailey and Kendrick Lewis were also limited in practice and KC is not optimistic they'll be available to play on Sunday.

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Oakland Raiders

Oh the Raiders. If anyone was paying attention last week, I picked the Chargers to beat the Raiders but in my commentary I said "the Raiders will lose this game more than the Chargers will win it." Really, I said that, you can check if you want. So I was mostly right. I'm not going to spend a lot of time recapping the game because, well, we've done it all already.

The Raiders seemed to rely a bit too much on Darren McFadden this week as he was the involved in 33 of the Raiders' 69 plays (rushes or targets). I don't know how many snaps he in, but he accounted for nearly half of the Raiders offense on Monday night. Probably not something you want to do with someone who has a recent history of being, shall we say, fragile. Though, he didn't exhibit any of that fragility on the field:

Following the Week 1 loss at the hands of the Chargers, there seems to already be an "ABANDON SHIP!" mentality from the fans in Oakland. Apparently, they didn't like what they saw from new Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp. While I like to see a meltdown in Oakland like any other Chargers fan, that's about as knee-jerk a reaction as crowning the Broncos after just one game. All hope is not lost in Oakland just yet, as there were some positives to take away from the game.

Looking forward to game 2, the Raiders head to Miami to take on the lowly Dolphins. Given the current perception of both teams being a bit inept right now, this might actually be a fun game to watch. Or it might not.

Much like the Chargers, the Raiders had a few players dinged up in game 1. CB Ron Bartell missed the entirety of last season with a broken neck, and now he could be lost for as much as six weeks with a broken shoulder blade. Word is that long-snapper John Condo, who left the game early on and whose absence was the cause of several special teams issues for the Raiders, suffered a concussion in the game and is questionable for Sunday's game against the Dolphins.

On top of all that, it seems WR Jacoby Ford will miss a significant portion of the season with a foot injury.

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San Diego Chargers

Since people have actually been complaining that I don't cover the Chargers in these posts, we've listened and have written up a few things about the San Diego Chargers.