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AFC West Roundup, Week 7: Chiefs Expand Divisional Lead, Broncos Bottom Out

The Chiefs and Raiders each picked up needed victories while the Broncos and Chargers fall.

NFL: Houston Texans at Las Vegas Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City picked up a big win on the road to strengthen their advantage in the division after a home Chargers loss. The Raiders picked up their second win of the season and surpassed the Broncos in the process with a record of 2-4. The Broncos are the worst team in the AFC West – a division that has not lived up to its lofty expectations.

AFC West Standings

Team W L T Div. Conf.
Team W L T Div. Conf.
Kansas City Chiefs 9 2 0 3-0 5-2
Los Angeles Chargers 6 5 0 2-2 4-3
Las Vegas Raiders 4 7 0 2-2 3-5
Denver Broncos 3 8 0 0-3 2-6

Denver Broncos @ New York Jets

Final Score: 9-16

Recap: Brett Rypien got the nod at quarterback with Russell Wilson held out due to a hamstring injury. With Rypien under center, Nathaniel Hackett bewilderingly dialed up 46 pass attempts. He threw for 225 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception. The team rushed for 105 yards total while the Broncos defense kept them in the game, which is becoming a theme. Latavius Murray scored the lone touchdown, but McManus uncharacteristically botched the extra point, as well as a 56-yard field goal. Attempting a 56-yard field goal on a windy day was another questionable decision by Coach Hackett. Those are mounting quickly. Breece Hall was headed for a big day after four carries led to 72 yards and a score, but he left game with a torn ACL before terrorizing the Denver run defense any further. Through it all, the Broncos had a chance late in the game. On 4th and 10 from the Jets 49-yard line, Rypien took a deep shot to Courtland Sutton that was broken up on the goal line. Although a flag was probably deserved, it was not thrown, and it certainly was not the reason the Broncos lost.

Injuries: Baron Browning (hip), Mike Boone (ankle)

Week 8 Matchup: Jaguars vs Broncos (London)

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Francisco 49ers

Final Score: 44-23

Recap: Patrick Mahomes was sharp in this one, throwing for 423 yards on 34 attempts to go with three touchdowns and one interception. The Chiefs offense had their way with one of the top defensive units in the NFL after falling down 10-0. Four straight touchdowns and 30 points in the second half eventually put the game out of reach. Both Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling eclipsed 100 yards receiving, while Travis Kelce finished with 98 and Mecole Hardman took three separate trips to the endzone. Sitting at 5-2, the Chiefs offense has found a groove which is a scary thought.

Injuries: N/A

Week 8 Matchup: Bye week

Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Chargers

Final Score: 37-27

Recap: Although Justin Herbert threw for 293 yards and two scores, it took him 51 attempts to get there in a trailing effort. The Bolts defense picked off Geno Smith on the opening drive at midfield but would return the favor, turning the ball over on downs. From there, the Hawks gained momentum quickly as they rushed out to 17-0 lead. With the Chargers playing catch up throughout the afternoon, Seattle was able to run the ball effectively with Kenneth Walker who tallied 168 yards and two scores. Teams have been running over the Chargers all season and it remains their kryptonite. The offense can keep pace with most teams, but if they face an early deficit and a strong rushing attack, it’s game over.

Injuries: JC Jackson (patellar tendon), Mike Williams (ankle)

Week 8 Matchup: Bye week

Houston Texans @ Las Vegas Raiders

Final Score: 20-38

Recap: A back and forth affair left the game knotted at 10 going into halftime. The Texans would take a 20-17 lead midway through the third quarter before the Raiders closed the game on a 21-0 run. Josh Jacobs put the team on his back, running for 143 yards and scoring all three of his touchdowns in the second half. Duron Harmons interception and 73-yard touchdown return sealed the game with just over three minutes remaining. The Raiders came off their bye week playing good football, leaving the Broncos in the basement.

Injuries: Matthias Farley (back)

Week 8 Matchup: Las Vegas Raiders @ New Orleans Saints

Predictions for Week 8

After going 2-2 last week, my record on the season is now 11-8.

With two of the AFC West teams on bye, we have just two games to predict. Josh Jacobs is running like a mad man and the Raiders are on the upswing, while the Saints are facing quarterback questions. Give me the Raiders on the road. You could make a case with Russ returning to game action after some time off will benefit him and kickstart the offense. I’m not making that case, but you could. I’ll take the Jags in London.

What are your predictions for week 8? Let us know in the comments!