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AFC West Roundup, Week 4: Broncos Drop First Divisional Matchup

Josh McDaniels exacts revenge as Raiders pick up first win against Denver, Chiefs and Chargers turn in strong performances.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With a chance to put the Las Vegas Raiders season to bed early, the Denver Broncos stumbled yet again. The worst news to come from the game, however, was in the injury department. Javonte Williams suffered a multi-ligament knee injury, tearing his ACL and LCL. It’s a brutal injury for a young, dynamic player who faces a long road of recovery.

Meanwhile, Randy Gregory landed on IR with a knee injury and is expected to undergo surgery to have his meniscus trimmed. Gregory has had a strong start to the season and Denver will miss him a great deal, although I am excited to see what Baron Browning can do in an expanded role, and potentially Nik Bonitto if he can find his way onto the field.

AFC West Standings

Team W L T Div. Conf.
Team W L T Div. Conf.
Kansas City Chiefs 13 3 0 5-0 8-3
Los Angeles Chargers 10 6 0 2-3 7-4
Las Vegas Raiders 6 10 0 3-2 5-6
Denver Broncos 4 12 0 0-5 2-9

Denver Broncos @ Las Vegas Raiders

Final Score: 23-32

Recap: The game was tied 10 to 10 with three and a half minutes remaining in the first half, and the Broncos were driving. A lead, and control of the game was within reach. Melvin Gordon took an inside handoff, fighting for extra yardage before the ball slipped out of his hands and into Amik Robertson’s who returned it 68 yards for a Raiders touchdown. This sequence of events flipped the entire game upside down, becoming the defining moment of the Broncos loss. But make no mistake, Denver had opportunities to sneak out a win. Following the Gordon fumble, the Broncos would march down and tie the game, before allowing a Raiders field goal to make it 19 to 16 at half. At the break, Russell Wilson had completed 11 of 12 passes for 149 yards and two scores. He completed just six passes for 88 yards in the second half while the Raiders took over. Josh Jacobs ran for 144 yards and two touchdowns, 86 of which came in the second half. Vegas possessed the football for 18:29 in the second half while Denver opened the half with four straight punts, operating on offense for just 11:31. Following the injury to Javonte Williams, Mike Boone ran for 20 yards in the second half while Melvin Gordon added one single yard to his stat sheet. The Broncos have put together some solid stretches on offense but have yet to sustain it for a whole game. If the team can’t develop and execute a game plan after a full week, what are the odds they can do it with a four-day turnaround?

Injuries: Javonte Williams placed on IR (ACL and LCL tear), Randy Gregory placed on IR (knee), PJ Locke (concussion), Aaron Patrick (concussion), Russell Wilson (shoulder).

Denzel Perryman (concussion).

Week 5 Matchups: Inadianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos | Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers @ Houston Texans

Final Score: 34-24

Recap: The Chargers intercepted Davis Mills on the opening possession and never looked back. They jumped out to a 21-point lead and finished the game with 34 points on the backs of Austin Ekeler and Justin Herbert. Ekeler racked up three scores, two on the ground and one through the air while Herbert demonstrated why he’s one of the best young quarterbacks in the game. He completed 27 of 39 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns, compiling a passer rating of 113.2. The Texans made it interesting in the second half, scoring 17 unanswered points before Herbert put together a six minute, 13 play drive to put the game out of reach.

Week 5 Matchup: Los Angeles Chargers @ Cleveland Browns

Kansas City Chiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Final Score: 41-31

Recap: The Chiefs took a seven-point lead 46 seconds into the game, capitalizing on a Bucs fumble on the opening kickoff. They controlled the game throughout, never relinquishing the lead. You can bet Patrick Mahomes had this game circled, looking for his next opportunity to best Tom Brady after suffering defeat to the Bucs in Super Bowl 55. He did just that, throwing for 249 yards and three touchdowns while adding to his highlight reel with a wicked spin move before one of his touchdown passes. KC found the endzone on four of five full possessions in the first half, taking a 28 to 17 lead into half. Brady finished with 385 yards and three touchdowns, but the Bucs were never really within striking distance. They ran for a total of three yards and trailed by 14 or more until the three-and-a-half-minute mark of the fourth quarter.

Injuries: L’Jarius Sneed (ankle), Trey Smith (pectoral).

Week 5 Matchup: Kansas City Chiefs @ Las Vegas Raiders

Predictions for Week 5

I went 1-2 last week, brining my record to 5-5. If I’m not careful, you might confuse me with Nathaniel Hackett the way I’m calling these games.

It’s tough to predict a Broncos win right now, but I’m going back to the well as I like their chances at home against a subpar Colts team. In a battle of the most inconsistent teams in the league, I’m picking the Chargers to take a road win over the Browns and I like the Chiefs to pick up a W in Las Vegas against the Raiders.

What are your predictions for week 5? Let us know in the comments!