AFC West: 2011 Week 9 Wrap-ups

Wrap-up: Broncos 38, Raiders 24

November, 6, 2011
What it means: The Raiders, San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs are 4-4 and tied for first place in the AFC West after all three teams lost at home Sunday.

The Denver Broncos are 3-5 and one game off the pace in this hot mess of a division. The Raiders -- who went 6-0 in the AFC West last year -- were primed to be 6-2, but they have lost back-to-back home games to Kansas City and Denver.

Palmer’s impact: Quarterback Carson Palmer had his moments Sunday as he threw three touchdown passes in his first start as a Raider. But the man brought to Oakland to be the difference maker has thrown six interceptions in six quarters of play.

Tebow’s impact: Tebow played better than he did in his first two starts of the season, but he wasn’t terrific throwing the ball. Yet, with 117 yards rushing, he very likely did enough on keep his job as the starter. Denver is 2-1 with him as the starter.

McGahee’s day: The star of the show for Denver was 30-year-old Willis McGahee. Playing two weeks after breaking his hand and only limited practice, McGahee ripped through an Oakland defense that is giving up too many big plays. He had 163 yards rushing and he scored on runs of 60 and 24 yards in the second half. Denver, which has struggled all season on the ground, had 298 yards rushing.

What’s next: The Raiders have a quick turnaround. They will play a crucial AFC West game at San Diego on Thursday night. Denver plays at Kansas City,

Wrap-up: Dolphins 31, Chiefs 3

November, 6, 2011

A look at a shocker at Arrowhead Stadium.

What it means: If the Kansas City Chiefs don’t win the AFC West, this game will be looked at as the beginning of the end. The Chiefs came roaring into this game, winners of four straight games. They entered the game in a three-way tie for first place with the Chargers and Raiders. Now, they must hope those two teams lose to keep pace.

Tomorrow’s talker: The Chiefs lost at home, by 28 points, to the previously winless Dolphins. How does that happen? The Chiefs have been good for a month, but this performance was reminiscent of the first two weeks of the season when Kansas City was outscored 89-10.

Where’s the defense? One of the reasons the Chiefs were hot was the defense was playing great. The Chiefs allowed one touchdown in the past two games. Yet, the Dolphins passed and ran on Kansas City, steamrolling the home team.

What’s next: The Chiefs host Denver next Sunday before they enter a ferocious five-game stretch, beginning with a Monday night date at New England. The expectation was that the Chiefs would be 6-3 going into that stretch. Now, they must hope to be 5-4.