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Horse Tracks: 5 games in, the AFC West is taking shape

Kansas City Chiefs vs Oakland Raiders - December 23, 2006 Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary

Although the Denver Broncos were off Sunday, there was still plenty of AFC West football to watch. The Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers all played and... well... the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Everybody’s favorite offseason pick to challenge the Patriots in the AFC Championship game, the Oakland Raiders, dropped their third straight game. All that jibber-jabber about how the culture has shifted and things were going to get better seemed to evaporate in their Sunday loss to a scrappy 2-2 Baltimore Ravens squad. Personally, I think this is the kind of game that the Raiders lose that could send them into a season-sinking tailspin. They have always lacked the resiliancy to bounce back from adversity and, as of Monday morning, they are enjoying a 2-3 record. Familiar territory for a team trying yet again to get their record over .500.

The Los Angeles Chargers won a game! It has to be absolutely brutal to get your first win of the season in October, but a win is a win and kudos to them for getting it done. With Oakland looming large later this week, it’s entirely possible there could be a win-streak in the making. Probably not, but the Raider-hater in me absolutely loves the idea.

Then there’s the Kansas City Chiefs. It kills me to say this, but the Chiefs are looking like the most legit team in the NFL through five weeks. Their defense is nasty, Alex Smith has reinvented himself this year as a dynamic force at quarterback, their run game is on fire, and Andy Reid is looking every bit a mastermind behind that mustache. It’s just awful. After watching them handle the Houston Texans on Sunday night, it’s clear that rooting for other teams to take care of business isn’t going to be enough. If Denver wants the Chiefs to lose, dammit, they’re going to have to do it themselves... and I know they can do it.

The bye week is now officially behind the Denver Broncos. Let’s get back to some football!


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