The Week 4 BYE for our Broncos gave me an opportunity to watch the rest of the AFC West in action. I focused mainly on the Chargers and Raiders since the Chiefs laid the hammer down on the 49'ers to get their first win. Here is my take on the AFC West from this weekend.
San Diego @ Baltimore - When I did my Season preview over at The SportsGuru I mentioned Marty Schottenheimer's knack for pulling defeat out of the jaws of victory. He managed to do it again, as the Chargers lost to the Ravens in Baltimore. A missed FG, a botched snap on another, and ultra conservative playcalling in the 2nd half. We all knew going in it was going to be a defensive struggle, and it was, but the Chargers had numerous opportunites to put the Ravens away and could not.
Three of the remaining 13 games on the Broncos schedule are against these two teams, starting a week from tonite against the Ravens at Invesco. What I have seen from the Ravens the past 2 weeks has done little to impress me and I think they are ripe for the picking, if the Broncos can avoid turnovers.
As for the Chargers, this game was the first true test for Rivers after a pair of games against the Titans and Raiders, and he struggled all day with the pressure. There should be plenty of film for Shanny and Co. to watch on both of these teams to come up with a game plan, and both teams are beatable if we play Bronco football.
Ray-Ray comes to town next Monday Night
Cleveland @ Oakland - The Raiders have done it again. After getting blown out in their first two games of the season, the Silver and Black had two weeks to prepare for a lousy Cleveland Browns team that lost a heart-breaker the week before to the Ravens.
Early on, it appeared as such with the Raiders racing to a 21-3 lead early in the 2nd quarter. It was about that time they remembered they were the Raiders, and that they suck. The Browns stormed back, winning their first game of the season with a 24-21 victory. The Broncos also face these two teams during the season, and a couple of things stood out in my mind.
First, the Browns have some talent on offense and are only to get better as the season goes on. When the Broncos travel to Cleveland on 10/22, our defense had better be ready for a big dose of Reuben Droughns, Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards. Winslow, in fact, leads all TE's in catches and yards. Charlie Frye is proving to be a playmaker, and though he'll make a bad decision here and there, he keeps plays alive and makes big plays.
Charlie Frye has the Browns offense moving
As for Oakland? Yuck! Though I will say that Andrew Walter looked good in his first start, and I can see why the Raiders are high on him. The Broncos obviously play the Raiders twice, starting in two weeks, and Walter is another player that has alot of upside and will only get better as the season goes on.
Defensively is another question, where the Raiders are just awful. Warren Sapp is finished and there are no playmakers in the secondary.
San Francisco @ Kansas City - 41-0?? Not much more to say than it is obvious the Chiefs put the BYE week to good use. When Trent Green returns the Chiefs are going to be solid, and with the Thanksgiving game on the horizon the Broncos had better keep an eye on the Chiefs. Remember, objects in mirror are closer than they appear, and the Chiefs will hang around all year.
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