AFC West: Final Word 2012 Week 6

Final Word: AFC West

October, 12, 2012
10/12/12
1:30
PM ET
NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 6:

Gonzo’s last AFC West hurrah: Former Kansas City and current Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez has said he likely will retire after the season. Fittingly, he gets to face the AFC West this season -- and he has been tremendous for the 5-0 Falcons. In Week 5, they will look to sweep the AFC West when Oakland visits the Georgia Dome. Gonzalez has scored a touchdown against each AFC West opponent so far; in total, he has 21 catches for 214 yards and three touchdowns against the conference. Let’s see what he goes for against Oakland.

Chiefs can’t hold onto the ball: Kansas City enters its game at Tampa Bay with an NFL-leading 19 turnovers in five games. The Chiefs are 1-4 for a lot of reasons, but averaging nearly four turnovers game is a crisis. It is the most turnovers through five games since the 1997 New Orleans Saints, who had 21 turnovers, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

[+] EnlargeDemaryius Thomas
AP Photo/Elise AmendolaPeyton Manning seemed to establish a deep connection with receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) against New England.
Manning and Thomas clicking: Demaryius Thomas is becoming Peyton Manning’s favorite deep target. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Manning threw passes of 15 yards or more nine times at New England in Week 5. He connected five times, all of them with Thomas, for 154 yards. Watch for Denver to try to build upon that relationship Monday night at San Diego.

Palmer is not connecting deep: One of the reasons Oakland traded for Carson Palmer last year was the deep ball. However, he is not succeeding in that area this season. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Palmer is 1-of-14 (7.1 percent) on throws more than 20 yards downfield this season. It the lowest completion percentage in the NFL. One reason Palmer’s percentage is so low is Oakland has had big injury problems at receiver. Perhaps the deep connection will come with better health for Oakland.

Rivers having trouble against Denver’s blitz: The Broncos have a strong pass rush and likely will show it against the Chargers. According to ESPN Stats & Information, quarterback Philip Rivers completed 46.9 percent of his throws last season when the Broncos sent five or more pass-rushers. The Broncos' defense have the fifth-best completion percentage using such pressure this season (52.2). The problem for Rivers is that he has taken a step back against the blitz. He has thrown no touchdowns and has been intercepted three times against extra pressure this season. He excelled in the area in 2009, when he threw 15 touchdown passes and was intercepted just four times.

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