Rest of the AFC West: Week 4 Takeaways

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Trevor Siemian /
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ORCHARD PARK, NY – SEPTEMBER 24: Trevor Siemian /

The Denver Broncos remain hot on the Kansas City Chiefs’ heels in AFC West race for a division title.

The undefeated Kansas City Chiefs are waiting to play the Washington Redskins tonight on Monday Night Football. A win tonight would keep the Chiefs one game ahead of the Denver Broncos, who beat the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. The Los Angeles Chargers lost yet again, as they fell to the Philadelphia Eagles. Now a quarter of the way through the season, the race for the AFC West title is taking shape. The Chiefs currently sit at the top with a record of 3-0. The Broncos improved to 3-1 while the Raiders fell to 2-2. The Chargers round up the rear with an 0-4 record. Here are the rest of the AFC West takeaways for week 4.

Broncos play just well enough to escape with a win

The Denver Broncos outplayed the Oakland Raiders for the majority of the game. The offense wasn’t spectacular, but it did just enough. C.J. Anderson looked good; rushing for 95 yards on 20 carries. Trevor Siemian avoided the big mistakes which killed the Broncos last week against the Buffalo Bills. The Broncos defense was stout as well, forcing the Raiders to go 3 (or 4) and out on eight different drives. The Broncos only allowed 24 rushing yards and gave Derek Carr fits all day. To make matters worse for the Raiders, Carr left the game with back spasms in the third quarter. ). With Carr out, it seemed like the Raiders would have no chance to win.

Despite all this, the Broncos only had a one score lead late in the game with the Raiders driving down the field. EJ Manuel led a 73 yard drive that ended in a field goal to bring the Raiders within 6 points. After a quick 3 and out by the Broncos, the Raiders got the ball near midfield and were threatening to score again. The Broncos defense was able to end the game on an interception by Justin Simmons.

The game should have never gotten to that point. With everything stacked against the Raiders, the Broncos should have been more aggressive to close out the game. The offense could not close the game out, totaling 39 yards over their final 4 possessions. Siemian was given the opportunity to throw the ball late in the game, but he was not given enough time to throw. Some credit must be given to the Raiders defense, but Broncos fans should be a little concerned about their offense. Remember, the Oakland Raiders gave up almost 500 yards of total offense against the Washington Redskins last week. The Broncos will have a Week 5 bye to prepare for a Week 6 matchup against the New York Giants.

Quick Notes

Jamaal Charles continues to be effective when given the opportunity. Charles gained 33 yards on 5 carries, an average of 6.6 yards per attempt. He also took a screen pass for a gain of 14 yards. He was shaken up during the game after taking a helmet to the knee, but did return.

The notorious former Chief Donald Stephenson made an appearance for the Denver Broncos. Starting right tackle, Menelik Watson, left the game with an injury. Stephenson promptly gave up a sack, completely whiffing on his block attempt against Khalil Mack.