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AFC West recap: Week 11

Good news. The Kansas City Chiefs are back in first place.

The bad news, the San Diego Chargers don’t appear to be going anywhere.

With the Chiefs essentially in second place coming into the week, a loss by the Oakland Raiders put the Chiefs back in first place after the Chiefs blew out Arizona 31-13.

However, Chiefs fans found themselves in an unfamiliar position Monday night – rooting for the Denver Broncos to beat the Chargers, which would give the Chiefs a two-game lead over San Diego. And as I’ve said, San Diego is a bigger threat to the Chiefs than the Raiders for multiple reasons.

Kansas City Chiefs 31, Arizona Cardinals 13

Dwayne Bowe continues to put up huge numbers and the defense rebounded with a vengeance after being humiliated in Denver a week before.

Bowe and Matt Cassel continue to show progress each and every week. If the defense plays more like this past Sunday rather than the Sunday before, the Chiefs could be very tough to handle and open things up for the rushing attack of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles to again be one of the best in the league.

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    Pittsburgh Steelers 35, Oakland Raiders 3

    Only one thing of consequence happened in this game. Oakland defensive end Richard Seymour punched Ben Roethlisberger.

    When you’re Oakland and that is your lone highlight, well, not a good way to come out of the bye week.

    San Diego Chargers 35, Denver Broncos 14

    Denver scoring first only made San Diego angry.

    The Chargers reeled off 35 straight points – including four touchdown passes by Philip Rivers, who was again without his top weapon in Antonio Gates.

    It was the third straight win for San Diego and got them to 5-5 after starting the year 2-5.

    In short, the Broncos looked NOTHING like the team that jumped out to a 35-0 lead the week before against the Chiefs.

    Essentially, what’s happened now is this. Chiefs are in first place, Raiders and Chargers are “essentially” tied for second, but I give the Raiders the edge for head-to-head tiebreaker, as well as record in division.

    Though the Chargers are third, they’re still the team that worries me the most. Denver is the lone division road game they have left. That means Oakland and Kansas City both have to go to San Diego.

    I still think San Diego is the most dangerous team in this division. Tonight and recent history proved that. But for right now, Chiefs are in first place. Enjoy it.

    But that two-game lead would have been really nice.

    Even when they’re not good, the Broncos find a way to mess things up for the Chiefs.

    3 Comments Say Something
    • Yeah, I’m afraid of the Chargers at this point. If I would have to lament one game, it would be the Raiders game, not the Broncos game. I can’t explain that beat-down but the Raiders game was in reach and would have been a division road win if the Chiefs were on top.

      The hidden advantage of having San Diego lurking and the Raiders in the thick of it is that it gives legitimacy to the AFC West division. This is not the NFC West by any means. That said, here’s hoping the Chiefs can add legitimacy to themselves and the division by beating the current NFC West leader, the Seattle Seahawks.

    • Honestly, I don’t think there’s any doubt in my mind that the Chargers are the best team in the division, especially with Jackson and Gates (probably) coming back next week. However, they really dug themselves a hole and the Chiefs have thoroughly taken advantage. I agree with Josh in saying that Raiders game would have been a big win, especially since it’s in the division, but I think the same could be said if they could have held off the Texans.

      The interesting part is if they can continue the rest of the season and go 5-1, or possibly 4-2. It was nice to see the run game return against the Cardinals and I think that will be absolutely crucial to their success the rest of the way. Though, I think the most difficult part will be holding off the Chargers. Although San Diego has a tougher schedule the rest of the way, they could very well run the table. They are just that talented, but this week’s game at Indianapolis could be very telling.

      Regardless, go Chiefs. They’ve been a great story this year and I hope they ride it all the way to the playoffs.

    • I can’t say they have “thoroughly” taken advantage. A one-game lead with as crappy as San Diego played early on is not “thorough” by any stretch of the imagination.

      I do find it funny that people call this “Norvember” because of how well they play late.

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