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Friday, November 11, 2011
Final Word: AFC West

By Bill Williamson

» NFC Final Word: East | West | North | South » AFC: East | West | North | South


Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 10:

Kansas City's Matt Cassel
Kansas City's Matt Cassel has completed 33 of 49 passes for 383 yards and two touchdowns on play-action plays.
Cassel excelling in play-action: The Broncos will have to try to find a way to limit Kansas City from executing play-action plays. Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel is eighth in the NFL in play-action passing, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Cassel has completed 33 of 49 passes (a solid 67.3 percent) for 383 yards and two touchdowns on play-action plays.

Denver’s receivers are not dynamic: The Chiefs’ secondary is not preparing for an overly explosive group of receivers. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Denver is 31st in the NFL in yards after the catch. Just 606 of its 1,515 receiving yards -- 40 percent -- have been gained after the catch.

No coaching drama: The Broncos-Chiefs first meeting of last year is most remembered for Kansas City coach Todd Haley pointing his finger at now-former Denver coach Josh McDaniels and refusing to shake his hand after a lopsided Denver win. I’d be shocked if Haley and new Denver coach John Fox engage in any shenanigans after Sunday’s game.

Can Denver continue QB-RB ground attack? The Broncos would love to have the same ground attack they enjoyed in Oakland last week. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Denver quarterback Tim Tebow and running back Willis McGahee became the first quarterback-running back combination to rush for 100-plus yards each since 2006, when Michael Vick (quarterback) and Jerious Norwood (running back) accomplished the feat. McGahee had 163 yards and Tebow had 117 yards.

Can Chiefs protect Arrowhead? If the Chiefs, 4-4, are going to stay in the AFC West race, they need to protect their home field better. Last week, the Chiefs were beaten, 31-3, by previously winless Miami at home. It was the second time this season that Kansas City lost at Arrowhead by at least 28 points. It’s been a recent problem. Kansas City has lost at home by at least 28 points four times since 2009. Before then, it had just one home loss by that many points in the history of Arrowhead Stadium.