Wednesday, November 14, 2012
AFC West Stock Watch
By Bill Williamson
Chiefs’ discipline: Add a lack of discipline and a lack of in-game intelligence to a laundry list of Kansas City’s problems. The Chiefs were undisciplined and made silly mistakes in a loss at Pittsburgh. Getting a 15-yard celebration penalty after a touchdown that was overturned was inexcusable.
Faith in Oakland coach Dennis Allen: Many Oakland fans are getting very restless. First-year coach Dennis Allen has not made a positive impact yet while first-year coaches such as Joe Philbin in Miami and Chuck Pagano/Bruce Arians in Indianapolis are. Allen is a defensive-minded coach and Oakland’s defense is a mess. I’m not ready to declare Allen a failure because of a dearth of talent and injuries. But it can’t be denied, Allen’s tenure has started slowly.
Norv Turner’s patience: San Diego’s coach lost his cool after Sunday’s loss. Turner is usually calm. Much has been made of his mini meltdown. Is the pressure getting to Turner? Probably, but you can’t blame him. It’s been a tough go for Turner in the past month as his team has lost four of the past five games. Perhaps Turner’s emotional outburst will spark his team.
Chances that this division race will be over soon: Denver has a two-game lead over San Diego. If the Broncos beat the Chargers on Sunday at home, they will have a three-game division lead with six games to go, plus the tiebreaker over San Diego. It would be very difficult for Denver to blow such a lead.
Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas: The third-year receiver is flourishing with Peyton Manning being his quarterback. Thomas is making a serious Pro Bowl push. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Thomas has 15 receptions on throws of more than 10 yards and eight catches of 30-plus yards in the past five games.
Denver’s return game: Denver has been dominant during a four-game winning streak and now the return game, once a weak spot, is thriving as well. Tiny returner Trindon Holliday -- claimed off waivers in October -- returned a kickoff for a score in Week 9 and a punt for a touchdown in Week 10. Now, a negative area has turned into a major bright spot for Denver.