AFC West Breakdown: Week 8

(Welcome FOX Sports readers! Adam Best writes for Arrowhead Addict, which is FSB’s Kansas City Chiefs blog. Representing the rest of the AFC West are Bolt Beat, Just Blog Baby and Predominantly Orange.)

While the Denver Broncos were idle and the Kansas City Chiefs were expected to be, it was the defenses of the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers that didn’t show up. The Broncos enjoyed their lead in the division from their living rooms. Up in Jersey, the Chiefs nearly shocked the heavily favored Jets. Across the pond, ex-Charger Drew Brees burned the Bolts. As for Oakland, they made Joe Flacco look like John Elway.

Denver Broncos (4-3):

Looking Back: The Broncos bye week fell at the perfect time, because they were banged up as hell. Brandon, Marshall, Jay Cutler, Selvin Young, Tony Scheffler and others benefited from the off week. The Broncos also needed a week to regather that offensive magic and completely start from scratch defensively. The good news is that they remain in first place.

Looking Forward: The Broncos draw a schizo Miami Dolphins team at Mile High at Invesco. While I like the Broncos’ chances, thinking about that D trying to contain the Wildcat offense is scarier than any chainsaw-wielding madman you’ll see at your local haunted house this Halloween. Nonetheless, expect Cutler and Marshall to rebound and carry Mike Shanahan’s squad to victory.

Kansas City (1-6):

Looking Back: Wow. That was shocking. Tyler Thigpen looked like the Packers’ No. 4–Brett Favre. Meanwhile, Favre looked more like the Thiggy Smalls who got eaten alive against the Falcons not too long ago in his first start. Chan Gailey went with an almost spread look, which apparently was very similar to Thigpen’s college system. It worked wonders for Thigpen, his offensive line and even rookie scatback Jamaal Charles before he went down. The emergence of the recently signed Mark Bradley, the new Chiefs’ No. 2 WR, also helped open things up. Still, I can’t help think that the Jets kept the Chiefs hanging around by not running the ball. Herm Edwards countered that by running three straight times late in the game. “Play to win the game” my ass.

Looking Forward: An angry Chucky and his Tampa Bay Bucs. The Bucs are one of the best teams in football, and they desperately need a win to keep pace with the Panthers in the NFC South and the other NFC powerhouses. Tampa boasts one of the best rushing defenses in the league, so if Charles is unable to go it will be a long day for the Chiefs. Conversely, the Bucs will have success running Earnest Graham until either he drops or the statistician does. Arrowhead is one of the best homefield advantages in football, but I don’t expect Jon Gruden to try and hand this one to the Red and Gold the way Eric Mangini did.

Oakland Raiders (2-5):

Looking Back: Joe Flacco just utterly destroyed the Raiders, and it only took him 12 passes to complete the job. What I’m not telling you is that Flacco caught a 43-yard gimmick bomb and ran for another fairly long touchdown. The Raiders, like the Chiefs, are sporadic. I don’t know, maybe Tom the Cable Coach and the Silver and Black just got content after his first W. By the way, what was Johnnie Lee Higgins thinking on that kick return when he caught it and went out of bounds? Nice one, numbnuts.

Looking Forward: The Raiders draw the Atlanta Falcons at home. Hopefully, for their sake, they’ll get Run DMC back from his turf toe injury. After seeing what Brian Westbrook did to the Dirty Birds, McFadden could have a big day. In the passing game, rookie Matt Ryan is looking a lot better than sophomore JaMarcus Russell. The match-up that’s really juicy is Nnamdi Asomugha against Roddy White. Two of the most underrated players in the league who are destined to match up again in Hawaii next February.

San Diego Chargers (3-5):

Looking Back: Um, why does Norv Turner still have a job? Additionally, how many teams are going to make the mistake of hiring Teddy Cottrell as a defensive coordinator? Apparently, Turner is even dumber than I thought. Brees absolutely torched that porous Bolts’ secondary. That defense is terrible, and it isn’t just because Shawne Merriman is out for the season. It’s a combination of horrible coaching and overrated talent. I mean, the Saints couldn’t even run the ball and yet the Chargers still couldn’t slow down their passing game. That must have been a long ass flight back from London. Ouch.

Looking Forward: The Chargers won’t lose this week, because they have a bye. Still, if there is a coach who can figure out how to lose during the bye week, it’s Needlehead Norv. I bet he did the whistling belly button trick in high school and got the shingles real bad. Bing! Anyway, the guy is a moron. On the flip side, at least L.T. looks like his old self again. They’ll need him down the stretch if they want to catch the Broncos.

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