AFC West: 2013 Week 7 Rapid Reaction

Rapid Reaction: Denver Broncos

October, 21, 2013
10/21/13
12:15
AM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- A few thoughts on the Denver Broncos' 39-33 loss to the Indianapolis Colts:

What it means: The Broncos found that their depth chart, like that of any other team in the league, can be dragged down by injuries. The Broncos sorely missed tackles Ryan Clady (injured reserve) and Orlando Franklin (ankle) on offense and cornerback Champ Bailey (foot), who left the game in the first half. The Broncos were choppy on all fronts, took several penalties, had ill-timed turnovers and paid the price.

Stock watch: Linebacker Von Miller didn’t show the benefits of the extra weight he had been quick to talk about in his return from his six-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. You would expect some rustiness on Miller’s part, but for at least his first game back, he was not nearly as explosive as he was last season. The Colts largely blocked him man-on-man and limited Miller’s effectiveness both in the run game and pass rush.

No Holliday: There is no question Trindon Holliday can change a game with his speed in the return game -- he has two touchdown returns already this season -- but there are times when he tries the Broncos’ patience. Sunday night was one of those times. With the Broncos leading 7-3 in the first quarter, Holliday fielded a punt deep in Broncos territory and then lost the handle during the tackle. The Colts got the ball at the Broncos’ 11-yard line and scored a touchdown on the next play.

A long wait: Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis is in his 11th season, and after being Peyton Manning’s teammate for nine of those seasons, he finally got a chance to sack Manning. Mathis’ sack and forced fumble in the second quarter led to a safety. The Colts then scored on the drive following the free kick to take a 19-14 lead. Mathis, who finished with two sacks, repeatedly blew by the Broncos’ tackles -- Chris Clark and Louis Vasquez -- and consistently collapsed the pocket.

What’s next: From one return to the other. Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, who was the Broncos coach for 14 seasons and two Super Bowl wins, will bring his team to Denver next Sunday. It will be the first time Shanahan will have faced his former team since the Broncos fired him after the 2008 season. The Broncos have a much-needed bye week waiting for them after the Redskins game.

Rapid Reaction: San Diego Chargers

October, 20, 2013
10/20/13
4:06
PM ET

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A few thoughts on the San Diego Chargers' 24-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars:

What it means: The Chargers won consecutive games for the first time this season and go into the bye week above the .500 mark for the first time in 2013 (4-3 overall).

Rivers makes history: San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers completed his first 14 passes, which is a franchise record. He also became the 38th quarterback in NFL history to eclipse 30,000 career passing yards. Rivers finished 22-for-26 for 285 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal.

O-line shuffle: With only seven offensive linemen active for the game, the Chargers finished the contest with six healthy enough to play. Starting left tackle King Dunlap suffered his second concussion of the season in the opening quarter, and his replacement, Mike Remmers, went down four plays later with an ankle injury. Remmers could have, but did not go back into the game. Rookie D.J. Fluker moved from left tackle to right tackle. Jeromey Clary moved from right guard to right tackle. And Rich Ohrnberger came off the bench to play right guard.

How about that defense? San Diego defensive coordinator John Pagano's unit proved last week’s effort against Indianapolis was not a fluke, limiting the Jaguars to six points and 353 total yards. The Chargers sacked Jacksonville quarterback Chad Henne six times, including two by Thomas Keiser, who was playing in place of starting outside linebacker Jarret Johnson.

Mathews reaches century mark: For a second straight game, running back Ryan Mathews topped 100 yards rushing. Mathews finished with 110 rushing yards on 21 carries, including a 3-yard run for a score. The touchdown was Mathews’ first scoring run of the season and first since Week 5 of last year.

What’s next: The Chargers will take the week off before traveling to take on Washington at 1 p.m. ET on Nov. 3.

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