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AFC West Watch: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs dominating NFC East

Stephen Dunn

Before the season started,, who would have guessed that the AFC West would be taking it to the NFC East?

Interconference play has been interesting in 2013, especially where these two divisions are concerned. The divisions have already played eight times this season, with the AFC West enjoying a collective 7-1 record against their opponents. The only loss was by the Oakland Raiders in Week 4, who lost to the Washington Redskins 24-14.

The results are remarkable, and a clear illustration of the year-to-year differences in the NFL. In 2012, the NFC East boasted two playoff teams, and a collective record of 31-33. The AFC West was 26-38 (half those wins by the 13-3 Denver Broncos - I never realized Denver had as many wins as the rest of the division combined).

Now, through four weeks of 2013, the NFC East is 4-12. The AFC West is 11-5. My how the tables have turned.

Here's your AFC West Watch for Week 4.

Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)

The Chiefs put a pounding on the New York Giants, who have to be the most disappointing team of the 2013 season so far. Their 31-7 victory over Big Blue was still a two-score game into the fourth quarter (Chiefs were up 17-7), but they pulled away in the end. Alex Smith threw three touchdown passes while Dexter McCluster returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown.

Next Up: at Tennessee Titans

San Diego Chargers (2-2)

The Chargers have blown fourth quarter leads in their two losses, and they've come from behind late in their two wins. You can pretty much glean the winner of the Chargers game by flipping the teams' scores in the fourth quarter. The Chargers scored 20 unanswered points to end the game and put the hapless, turnover-prone Dallas Cowboys away 30-21 in Week 4. Philip Rivers had 401 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

Next Up: at Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders (1-3)

The Oakland Raiders are the bottom-dwellers in the division, as expected, but there are signs of life in the Other City by the Bay. They took a 14-0 lead on the Washington Redskins before losing 24-14. When Terrelle Pryor comes back healthy, they can find encouragement in his decent showing against the Broncos in Week 3. They just need to survive the Matt Flynn experience in the meantime - his 227-yard, one touchdown, one interception performance in Week 4 wasn't terrible, but it won't cut it.

Next Up: vs. San Diego Chargers.

Week 4 Standings

AFC West Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Denver Broncos 4 0 0 1.000 179 91 88 23 3-0 1-0 1-0 1.000 2-0 1.000 2-0 4W 4-0
Kansas City Chiefs 4 0 0 1.000 102 41 61 12 2-0 2-0 0-0 .000 1-0 1.000 3-0 4W 4-0
San Diego Chargers 2 2 0 .500 108 102 6 12 1-1 1-1 0-0 .000 0-2 .000 2-0 1W 2-2
Oakland Raiders 1 3 0 .250 71 91 -20 8 1-1 0-2 0-1 .000 1-2 .333 0-1 2L 1-3