Friday, October 26, 2012
Final Word: AFC West
By Bill Williamson
Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 8:
Broncos hope Manning’s post-bye success continues: Quarterback Peyton Manning won each of his past six games coming off the bye while with Indianapolis. He threw 15 touchdown passes and just three interceptions while his team averaged 33 points in those games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. If Manning, now with Denver, continues the trend Sunday night against visiting New Orleans, his post-bye success may continue. And going into halftime behind might not be so bad either: Manning has thrown nine touchdowns and no interceptions while trailing in the second half as a Bronco.
Raiders hope Arrowhead success continues: The Raiders have not been to the playoffs since 2002. But they have had a lot of recent success in Kansas City. The Raiders have won their past five games in Kansas City, the longest winning streak there in team history.
Eric Winston plays his first home game since ripping Chiefs fans for cheering an injury to QB Matt Cassel.
How will Arrowhead react to Winston? Sunday’s game against Oakland will be the Chiefs’ first game at Arrowhead Stadium since Oct. 7, when right tackle Eric Winston, in his first year in Kansas City, went off on some fans for what he said was cheering when then-starting quarterback Matt Cassel went down with a concussion. Winston's emotional diatribe on the subject became national news and prompted the Chiefs’ brass to defend the team’s fan base, which has long had a reputation for being among the league’s best. Winston clarified the next day that he didn’t mean to paint all Chiefs fans in a bad light. I think Winston may get a smattering of boos Sunday, but many fans may be willing to put the situation behind them and are ready to cheer for Cassel’s replacement, Brady Quinn, in his first start at home with Kansas City.
Rivers has to stop Chargers’ slide: The Chargers' past two games have seen them fail to respond to huge scoring runs by their opponents: They allowed the Saints to score the game’s final 17 points in Week 5 and then, in an epic collapse, saw Denver score 35 unanswered points in the second half to win at San Diego. For the Chargers to get back on the right track at Cleveland on Sunday, quarterback Philip Rivers needs to play a clean game. Rivers has committed eight turnovers in the past two games. The collapses were not all on Rivers, but it starts with him and he must stop making crucial mistakes.
Myers standing out for the Raiders: Going into the season, tight end was a major question mark for Oakland. Yet Week 8 finds starter Brandon Myers on his way to a special season. Myers leads the Raiders with 28 catches. He is one pace for 75 catches, which would be the most by a Raiders tight end since Todd Christensen had 95 catches in 1986.