AFC West: audibles AFC 14

Audibles: AFC West Week 14 preview

December, 5, 2008
Posted by's Bill Williamson

Kansas City Chiefs (2-10) at Denver Broncos (7-5), 4:05 p.m. ET

The Broncos are looking for consistency.

That is all this team wants right now. Even if they aren't consistent, the odds are the Broncos will win their first AFC West division title in three years. They are 7-5 and San Diego is 4-8. Denver's magic number to win the division is two. Unless it has a total breakdown and San Diego, which has lost five of its past six games, totally puts it together, Denver will win this division.

But the Broncos don't want to simply win the division. They want to be a threat in the playoffs. But they have to be consistent to be a threat. That has been an issue for Denver all season.

While the Broncos have plenty of impressive victories, they also have inexcusable defeats.
The past two weeks are perfect examples of Denver's inconsistent performances this season. On Nov. 23, Denver was punched in the mouth by the visiting Oakland. The Raiders stunned the Broncos, 31-10.

What did Denver do to follow up that mess? It blew out the New York Jets, who entered the game fresh off wins at New England and Tennessee, on the road.

So what kind of team is Denver as it heads into a home game against the Chiefs? We'll find out. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Denver struggle this week. It lost to the Chiefs in September and the Broncos have lost three straight home games.

All we know about Denver right now is that it is capable of both impressive wins and silly losses. As December football begins, the Broncos must find a way to be consistent.

Audibles: Chargers won't give up

December, 4, 2008

Posted by's Bill Williamson

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers, 8:15 p.m. ET Thursday

What's almost as frustrating as watching the San Diego Chargers fall just short week after week and seeing themselves fall out of the AFC playoff hunt?

Trying to explain why it's happening.

"We're not playing bad, I'll tell you that," San Diego linebacker Jyles Tucker said. "We're not bad. It's just trying to figure why those one or two plays always happen in a game. It's so frustrating to try to figure out why we are not winning because we are still a good team."

San Diego is 4-8. Four of the losses have come in the final minute. All eight losses are by a total of 34 points -- an average margin of defeat of just 4.5 points.

Close calls or not, the truth is San Diego is on the cusp of being knocked out of contention in the AFC West. The Chargers trail Denver (7-5) by three games in the division. If the Chargers lose to Oakland and Denver beats visiting Kansas City on Sunday, the Broncos will win the division.

The Chargers vow not to give up, though. They will fight against the Raiders. San Diego had to outscore Oakland 25-3 in the fourth quarter to secure a 28-18 win in Oakland in September, which turned out to be Lane Kiffin's final game as the Raiders' coach.

"You won't see this team give up," San Diego safety Eric Weddle said. "We'll be ready for Oakland and we'll stick together. And then we'll see what happens. That's all we can do at this point."