Reviews and Previews: Chiefs Ready for Final Push

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Dec 6, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) celebrates after a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at Coliseum. The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Oakland Raiders 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

AFC West Week 13

Nothing really got out of the ordinary in the AFC West this last week. Denver dominated on defense in San Diego to continue their streak of defeating divisional opponents on the road. I expected a win for Denver here but I also expected a better game from Bronco quarterback Brock Osweiler.

His stat line for the game ended at 16-of-26 for 166 with one touchdown and one interception. After the second or third series in the game the Chargers began to key in on the play action roll out by blitzing up the middle to get a hit on Osweiler or bringing up a corner to rush the throw. Without the stingy defense, Osweiler was in serious danger of potentially losing this game. This is why I don’t see Denver as a serious Super Bowl contender. When defenses can stop the run it takes away Osweiler’s game and forces him to throw from the pocket.

Throwing from the pocket without the aid of play action makes him second guess decisions and hold the ball just a bit too long. Defenses can key in on his weaknesses and he doesn’t yet know how to adapt. That only comes with experience.

As far as the Chiefs-Raiders game, a few things stood out to me from that wet and slippery win. Alex Smith did not necessarily impress anyone with his stats from the game but he has continued his streak of pass attempts without an interception and he currently sits at third on the all time list. This is really amazing with how much he was pressured on Sunday. Behind an offensive line that has virtually no more reserves, Smith continues to make great decisions with the football.

Many will say that he still didn’t push the ball down the field enough but with the time in the pocket that he had, Maclin would have to have a rocket on his back to get the ball beyond twenty yards. Another thing that stood out to me was the sheer will and heart of the defense. The Raiders absolutely imploded in the fourth quarter but it looked more due to a defense that would not go away instead of an offense that broke down.

Carr began to really feel the pressure in the second half and it forced him into some mistakes. The defensive line could have easily given up on rushing the passer, but they pushed through and picked up a win because of it.

Current AFC West Standings

Denver (10-2)

Kansas City (7-5)

Oakland (5-7)

San Diego (3-9)

Next: What happened in the Wild Card race?