Sunday, November 11, 2012
Will there be an AFC West race?
By Bill Williamson
The AFC West may get boring very quickly.
Week 10 of the NFL season brought some clarity in the division.
The Denver Broncos showed they are clearly the best team in the division, while the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders showed they are nowhere ready to make a playoff push.
Once again, the Broncos were impressive in a 36-14 win at Carolina. It was Denver’s fourth straight victory with three of the wins coming on the road.
Denver is now 6-3 and it is rolling with the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL. San Diego fell to 4-5 after a 34-24 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday. It has lost four of the past five games. Oakland was blitzed, 55-20, by Baltimore and is not a factor with its 3-6 record. Kansas City is 1-7 and it plays at Pittsburgh on Monday night. The only question about the Chiefs’ remaining season is if they will get the No. 1 pick in the draft.
The Broncos could put a stranglehold hold on the division before Thanksgiving.
Denver hosts San Diego on Sunday. If the Broncos win it will essentially have a four-game lead in the division with six games to go. Denver already beat the Chargers.
It was that game, on Oct 14, in which the division started to turn. The Broncos turned a 24-0 halftime deficit into a stunning 35-24 win. The Broncos have been one of the NFL’s best teams since and the Chargers have been in a daze since.
With quarterback Peyton Manning putting together an MVP season, Denver looks dangerous with nearly every phase of the game playing at a high level.
Of course, anything can happen in the final seven weeks of the season, but unless something dramatic happens, the events of Week 10 showed us the Broncos could put away the division title and work on becoming January-strong in a matter of weeks.