AFC West: 2010 Week 14 Wrap-ups

Wrap-up: Cardinals 43, Broncos 13

December, 12, 2010
The humiliation continues for the Denver Broncos after this loss against the Arizona Cardinals.

What it means: The Broncos are now 3-10 after another discouraging defeat in which the 4-9 Cardinals used rookie John Skelton at quarterback.

Tomorrow’s talker: The Broncos are no better – at least for now – without Josh McDaniels than they were with him. In its first game since McDaniels was fired Monday after 23 months on the job, Denver was listless in a lopsided defeat under interim coach Eric Studesville, who was promoted from running backs coach hours after McDaniels was fired. It’s clear the only real change will happen after the season when Denver brings in a new regime.

Trending: The Cardinals entered the game on pace for the No. 5 pick and Denver was on pace for the No. 6 pick. It looks clear now the Broncos are in fine shape for a top-five pick. That might be the most attractive part of the job for prospective coaches.

What’s next: Denver has to go to Oakland to face the Raiders, who clubbed them, 59-14, in Denver in October. With Skelton winning Sunday, it has to make you wonder if the Broncos will use rookie quarterback Tim Tebow at any time this season. I doubt he’d make his starting debut at the Black Hole, though. Maybe he’ll play in Denver’s two final games, both at home, against Houston and Tennessee.

Wrap-up: Jaguars 38, Raiders 31

December, 12, 2010
A look at a wild game in Jacksonville where the Jaguars defeat the Oakland Raiders, 38-31.

What it means: The Raiders’ playoff hopes took a major hit. Oakland is now 6-7. Oakland will either remain tied with San Diego or trail it by one game depending on the outcome of the Kansas City-San Diego game. Regardless, the Raiders have a difficult road to the playoffs. After the opening kickoff in San Diego, the PA announcer made a special announcement, telling fans to look at the big scoreboard that showed: Jaguars 38, Raiders 31. The entire stadium erupted. That was good news for both San Diego and Kansas City.

Tomorrow’s talker: The Raiders couldn’t hold onto to be a big lead. Oakland led the Jaguars, 17-7, at halftime. But the Jaguars exploded for 31 points in the second half, including 21 points in the third quarter. It spoiled strong games by Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell and running back Darren McFadden. Campbell, who had to briefly leave the game in the fourth quarter because of an injury, threw for 324 yards. If he finishes the season strong, he should go into the offseason as Oakland’s starter for 2011. McFadden had 123 yards rushing and 86 yards receiving. He scored three touchdowns as he made another case for a Pro Bowl selection.

Trending: If the Raiders don’t make it to the playoffs, it will be because of its play AFC competition outside of the division. Oakland is now 0-5 against non-divisional AFC competition. The Raiders are 4-0 in the AFC West and it was 2-2 against NFC West opponents. The Raiders are 0-3 in early games this season.

What’s next: Oakland hosts Denver next week. Oakland beat the Broncos, 59-14 in Denver in October.