AFC West: rapid reaction 6

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Welcome to the 2008 NFL season, San Diego Chargers.

This is what we've been expecting from them all year. In Week 6, against the team that has knocked them out of the playoffs the past two seasons, the Chargers put together their finest overall performance of the season.

This is, indeed, what we have been waiting for from the Chargers, the team that arguably possesses the best roster in the NFL. After being inconsistent in the first five weeks, the Chargers clicked on all cylinders against the Patriots.

And it couldn't have come at a better time. San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson set the tone on Monday by saying it was a "must win."

Whether it was a must win or not, it was certainly a valuable win for San Diego. The Chargers are 3-3 and trail Denver by just one game in the AFC West. Just before the Chargers kicked off, the Broncos lost at home to Jacksonville.

Heading into back-to-back road games at Buffalo and London (where the Chargers will face New Orleans), the Chargers needed this kind of win. They aren't out of the woods yet but after this complete win, life is looking way up in San Diego.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The Denver defense may be just ordinary at best, but the reason the Broncos have lost two games this season is because of mistakes on offense.

Interesting, isn't it?

Denver's money unit is clearly its offense. But when the offense makes mistakes it can't win. That was the case two weeks ago in a 33-19 loss at Kansas City and it was the case today against Jacksonville.

Denver lost three turnovers. Quarterback Jay Cutler threw an interception and lost a fumble. Receiver Brandon Marshall lost a fumble inside Jacksonville's 10-yard line. Marshall also dropped a key pass in the fourth quarter with Denver trailing by a touchdown. Denver also failed on fourth-and-1 late in the second quarter.

This is a fine offense. But don't discount the fact that it has scored just a combined 52 points the past three weeks, so it can't make mistakes. The Denver defense isn't good enough. Denver has to do more than it has in recent weeks and that means the Broncos have to stop making critical mistakes on offense.

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AFC WEST SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Sunday, 12/21
Monday, 12/22