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AFC West Roundup, Week 8: Broncos Gain Ground

Broncos pick up a game with Raiders loss, Chiefs and Chargers on bye.

Denver Broncos v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos traveled to London with two wins and came back to the states with three. Nathaniel Hackett lives to coach another day. Josh McDaniels was left apologizing to Las Vegas Raiders fans for the team’s performance, as they were blanked in New Orleans. With the Raiders loss, Denver moves up to third place in the division. The Kansas City Chiefs remain at the top of the division, followed by the Los Angeles Chargers with both teams on bye.

AFC West Standings

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

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Denver Broncos

Final Score: 17-21

Recap: The Broncos landed in London with a huge weight on their shoulders. Sitting at 2-5, Nathaniel Hackett carried the biggest weight on his back. Another loss might be too much for the Walton-Penner group to handle, and the game started the same way the first seven had. A three and out on the first possession, followed by an interception on the second quickly led to a seven-point deficit. The Broncos next couple drives stalled until they put together a 10 play, 75-yard drive to make it a 10-7 game with two and a half minutes left in the first half. It was a good sign, seeing Russ go for 6-6 on the drive to gain some momentum before halftime. The Broncos would score on their first drive of the second half before a few punts and another Jaguars touchdown left the Broncos down 17-14. With four minutes remaining, Russ and the Broncos put together an 80-yard drive to take the lead, and ultimately the win. On the first play of the possession, Wilson dropped a deep ball into the bucket for a 47-yard completion to KJ Hamler. Latavius Murray would go on to score a touchdown before a one-handed interception by K’waun Williams sealed the Broncos victory. Russ finished the game with 252 yards on 18 completions, throwing one touchdown and interception in what was likely his best game as a Bronco.

Injuries: Lloyd Cushenberry III

Week 9 Matchup: Bye week

Las Vegas Raiders @ New Orleans Saints

Final Score: 0-24

Recap: Yes, this game was just as bad as the score looks. The Raider could get nothing going on offense with three punts, an interception, and a turnover on downs in the first half. Meanwhile, they gave up 17 points in the first half with the Saints doing nearly anything they wanted on offense. The second half consisted of just six possessions while the Saints slow played their last drive, milking over nine minutes of game time off the clock. Needless to say, the Raiders continued to stall on offense which led to Jarrett Stidham taking the last drive under center. Derek Carr finished with 101 yards passing and Josh Jacobs rushed for just 43 yards. The script of this game was a complete flip from last week, leaving us with no idea who the Raiders really are.

Week 9 Matchup: Las Vegas Raiders @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Predictions for Week 9

After going 0-2 last week, my record on the season is now 11-10.

This division has been tough to predict thus far, but it’s clear the Chiefs and Chargers are superior to the Broncos and Raiders right now. With the Broncos on bye, I see the division picking up two wins. The Chargers will beat the Falcons on the road, the Chiefs will handle the Titans at home, and the Raiders will drop a second straight in Jacksonville.

What are your predictions for week 9? Let us know in the comments!