Wrapping up Week 17

December, 29, 2008
12/29/08
9:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

In my opinion, the Chargers took control of this division in Week 15.

When San Diego came back from 11 points down at the 2-minute warning in Kansas City it didn't only shock the Chiefs but it shocked the Broncos.

The Broncos entered the field in Carolina thinking the Chiefs were about to close out the game. They were on the field when San Diego finished the comeback. The Broncos were flat for the rest of the game and they never recovered. The win in Kansas City sparked the Chargers and it killed the Broncos.

The AFC West was taken over at that point.

-- Chargers star running LaDainian Tomlinson, who had three touchdowns in San Diego's 52-21 thump job over Denver on Sunday night, said he may have a strained groin. He will be examined later Monday. He is hopeful to play Saturday night against Indianapolis. It doesn't help Tomlinson that the game is played one day earlier than usual.

If Tomlinson can't play, his backup, Darren Sproles, will start. Sproles had 114 yards Sunday night as San Diego compiled 289 yards on the ground against Denver. Fullback Jacob Hester will also have an increased role if Tomlinson can't play.

-- San Diego tight end Antonio Gates has an ankle injury that will be monitored throughout the week.

-- After a week of trash talking, there was some on the field.

"It got chippy," said San Diego linebacker Matt Wilhelm, who during the week called Denver quarterback Jay Cutler "a punk."

"There was some talking out there. There is resentment between the two teams but I think it's because we are the two teams always going for the division title."

However, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers said there were no issues between him and Cutler. The two have a rivalry dating to last season when Rivers and some teammates and Cutler got into an on-field verbal spat. Rivers said he and Cutler shook hands before and after the game.

"He was great," Rivers said. "We were good."

-- The Chiefs will draft No. 3 and the Raiders will draft No. 7.

-- After the game, Denver coach Mike Shanahan said defensive coordinator Bob Slowik will return for a second season. Slowik was Denver's third defensive coordinator in three seasons. Denver allowed 448 points this season, which was the third-most allowed in the NFL.

-- Rivers completed all six of his pass attempts on third down Sunday night.

-- The Chargers did a much better job against Denver receiver Brandon Marshall on Sunday than they did in Week 2. Marshall had six catches for 55 yards Sunday night. He had 18 catches for 166 yards in Week 2.

-- Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell wants Tom Cable to be the team's full-time coach. Since Russell is the future of the team, his endorsement could weigh heavy.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

AFC WEST SCOREBOARD