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AFC West Wrap-Up, Week 4: Broncos already ahead two games

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We're only four weeks into the NFL season, but the Denver Broncos are already two games ahead of the rest of the AFC West going into Week 5.

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

It's still early in the season - but the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, and Kansas City Chiefs are going to have to step it up if they want to challenge the Denver Broncos for the top spot in the AFC West.

Standings

Team W L T Div Conf.
Denver Broncos 4 0 0 1-0 2-0
Oakland Raiders 2 2 0 0-0 2-1
San Diego Chargers 2 2 0 0-0 1-1
Kansas City Chiefs 1 3 0 0-1 1-2

Minnesota Vikings @ Denver Broncos

Final Score: 20-23

Recap: This game was far from a gimme for the Broncos. And had this game been played in Minnesota, we might very well have seen a different ending. The Broncos looked really good (defense, Hillman touchdown, clutch McManus kick), and kind of bad (those two Manning interceptions) during this game. But slowly the Broncos are finding their identity as they squeaked out a win against a very impressive Vikings team.

Fun fact: Who knew the Vikings had such great fans? This is my 5th year as a Broncos season ticket holder and I can't remember an opposing team having so many enthusiastic and fun fans at Mile High Stadium as the Vikings. Either these fans were local, or they paid to check an extra bag filled with impressive Vikings game day wear.

Even more fun fact: There's one team that hasn't allowed their opponents to score on them in the first quarter this season. That would be the Denver Broncos.

Wolfe fact: Derek Wolfe's 4 game suspension is over. The Broncos D will be even stronger going forward.

Broncos Injury Concerns: Demaryius Thomas and David Bruton were both evaluated for concussions during the game, but were both cleared. Cody Latimer left the game with a groin injury

Week 5 Matchup: Broncos @ Raiders

Oakland Raiders @ Chicago Bears

Final Score: 20-22

Recap: John Fox and Jack Del Rio were on opposite sidelines for the first time since parting ways with the Denver Broncos in a close game that came down to the wire. Jay Cutler was able to play, despite still having some issues with his hamstring, and led the Bears to their first victory of the season. The Raiders looked more uneven than they did in their win against the Browns, and their star running back Latavius Murray was responsible for two very costly turnovers.

Good news for the Raiders - they kept things close until the end of the game. Bad news for the Raiders - they host the Denver Broncos next week. This should be the most interesting Broncos-Raiders game in years.

Raiders Injury Concerns: WR Michael Crabtree left the game with an ankle injury but later returned. T.J. Carrie, who recently switched from cornerback to safety, left the game with a chest injury and was later seen in a sling.

Former Broncos note: Bears center Will Montgomery, who played for the Broncos last season, broke his leg in the beginning of the game.

Week 5 Matchup: Broncos @ Raiders

Cleveland Browns @ San Diego Chargers

Final Score: 27-30

Recap: This game was one of many decided this week by a last minute field goal, but this one had the most drama. Chargers kicker Josh Lambo missed a game winning 39 yard field goal, but was able to get a re-do after a Browns penalty. This time Lambo was successful, which clinched a win for a Chargers team that really needed one.

Rivers looked great in this game. He ended up with 358 yards and three touchdowns - which was especially impressive considering three of the Chargers offensive linemen were not playing due to injuries. The Chargers don't have much time to celebrate this win as they have games against the Steelers and Packers ahead of them in the next two weeks.

Notable returns: Antonio Gates will be back on the field for the Chargers in week 5 after completing his four game suspension.

Chargers Injury Concerns: The Chargers continue to have bad luck with injuries. Malcolm Floyd and Brandon Flowers both left the game with concussions. Stevie Johnson also left the game with a hamstring injury.

Week 5 Matchup: Steelers @ Chargers

Kansas City Chiefs @ Cincinnati Bengals

Final Score: 21-36

Recap: SB Nation's Kansas City Chief's site Arrowhead Pride summed up this game perfectly. The Chiefs scored field goals (7!). The Bengals scored touchdowns. Usually the team scoring touchdowns is going to win the game, and that was definitely the case in this game.

The Chiefs have too much talent on their team to completely discount them, even though they are in the basement of the AFC West as the only 1-3 team. It's still early, and the Chiefs have had a brutal opening schedule facing the Packers and Bengals in away games. The Broncos will also be facing the Packers and Bengals this season, but they get these now undefeated teams at home. The Chiefs still have time to turn it around this season, but Chiefs fans have to be worried. If the Chiefs can't beat the Bears next week we'll know this team is in serious trouble.

Chiefs Injury Concerns: None.

Week 5 Matchup: Bears @ Chiefs

My predictions for Week 5

Last week I was 3 for 4 in my predictions as my wish for a Raiders-Bears tie unfortunately did not pan out. Here are my picks for next week.

Broncos 5-0, Chiefs 2-3, Chargers 3-2, Raiders 2-3

How do you think things will shake out in Week 5 in the AFC West? Let us know in the comments!