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AFC West Roundup, Week 12: The West goes 3-1, Broncos reach new low

The Broncos were embarrassed in Carolina while the Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders all win.

Las Vegas Raiders v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

Just when we think the Denver Broncos have reached the lowest of lows, they stoop even further beneath our already minimal expectations. Not only did they lose, but they were embarrassed by a bottom feeder that has already moved on from their head coach and were starting their third quarterback of the season. The Las Vegas Raiders, who provide the lone competition for the bottom of the division, snuck out a surprising overtime win in Seattle. The Los Angeles Chargers pulled one out in the desert on a two-point conversion in the final minutes, while the Kansas City Chiefs ate the Los Angeles Rams lunch. Here are the up-to-date standings in the AFC West.

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 vs Carolina Panthers

Final Score: 10-23

Recap: Unsurprisingly, the Broncos got off to a slow start on Sunday, as did the Panthers. After four punts to open the contest, Carolina put together an 11-play touchdown drive capped by a Sam Darnold to DJ Moore touchdown from five yards out. The Broncos were gifted three points after a muffed punt early in the second quarter. With a chance to tie the game and make the Panthers pay, Denver gained just 18 yards before Brandon McManus knocked a 27-yard field goal through the uprights. Carolina responded with three of their own, making it a 10-3 ballgame. That would be the halftime score after McManus missed a 56-yard try in the final seconds of the first half. The Broncos began the second half with the ball and aspirations for a turnaround on offense. Instead, they face planted in dramatic fashion with three straight punts followed by a Jalen Virgil fumble on a kick return. Meanwhile, the Panthers scored a touchdown on their first drive of the half and kicked a field goal on their third drive. The Broncos fumble led to another three points for Carolina, making it a 23-3 game and the route was on. Denver would respond, however, with a 14-play touchdown drive that would prove to be too little too late. Although on onside kick recovery kept a glimmer of hope alive, a quick turnover on downs in four plays slammed that door shut. Latavius Murray was effective, rushing for 92 yards which was mostly aided by a 52-yard gain. Still, he averaged 7.1 yards per carry but received only 13 handoffs. Our 242.5-million-dollar quarterback connected on 19 of 35 pass attempts for 142 yards, one touchdown, and a lousy rating of 73.8.

Injuries: N/A

Week 12 Matchup: Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens

Los Angeles Rams vs Kansas City Chiefs

Final Score: 10-26

Recap: Bryce Perkins got the nod for the Rams with Matthew Stafford and John Wolford on the shelf. The Chiefs limited Perkins to 100 yards passing, while the Rams generated 116 yards rushing and struggled to score points, something that comes naturally for Kansas City. The Chiefs found the endzone on their second drive with a Travis Kelce touchdown from Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs came away with points on three of their four possessions in the first half as the game cruised by. Sandwiched in the middle was a Rams field goal, making it a halftime score of 13-3 in favor of KC. The second half went similarly as Isaiah Pacheco rushed in for a touchdown on the Chiefs first drive, and Kansas City netted two field goals to score on three of four drives again. The Rams scored on touchdown to keep it respectable, but followed that up with two Perkins interceptions, ultimately going down easy. At 9-2, the Chiefs are clearly the class of the division once again, and possibly of the AFC.

Injuries: N/A

Week 12 Matchup: Kansas City Chiefs @ Cincinnati Bengals

Los Angeles Chargers vs Arizona Cardinals

Final Score: 25-24

Recap: The Chargers were recently flexed into Sunday Night Football in week 14 at the expense of the Broncos, and it’s easy to see why. This team lives for the dramatics. After three empty possessions to start the game, the Cardinals quickly put 10 on the board and the race was on. Justin Herbert and the Chargers answered at the beginning of the second quarter with an 11-play drive that resulted in a Keenan Allen touchdown. A Kyler Murray interception on the next drive led to another Herbert touchdown, this time to DeAndre Carter for 33 yards. In the blink of an eye, the Chargers took a 14-13 lead. Not to be outdone, the Cardinals put a 14-play touchdown drive together to end the half, taking a 17-14 lead with them into the locker room. Arizona would miss a field goal on their opening drive of the second half which was followed by a Chargers field goal to tie the game at 17. Once again, the Cardinals answered with a touchdown drive to retake the lead, with James Conner catching a Kyler Murray pass from six yards out. The next six possessions of the game resulted in six punts, but the Chargers got a boost of 20 yards on a DeAndre Carter punt return of 20 yards, setting them up at the Cardinals 38-yard line with 1:48 remaining. Determined to take the lead, and the win, Herbert completed seven of eight passes on the final drive, with Austin Ekeler taking the last attempt into the endzone with 15 seconds remaining. With their sights set on victory rather than overtime, the Chargers went for two and the win which would prove to be the right call. Herbert connected with Gerald Everett, leading to a 25-24 victory for Los Angeles. The third-year quarterback was extremely clutch, completing 35 of 47 passes in total for 274 yards and three scores.

Injuries: Trey Pipkins III (knee), Corey Linsley (concussion protocol)

Week 12 Matchup: Los Angeles Chargers @ Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders vs Seattle Seahawks

Final Score: 40-34

Recap: The Raiders were perhaps the unlikeliest of AFC West teams to pull out a win on Sunday, but they found a way. After a Derek Carr interception on the opening drive, Kenneth Walker quickly punched one in to give Seattle a 7-0 lead. The Raiders answered, however, with an 11-play touchdown drive capped by a pass from Carr to Ameer Abdullah. A second interception from Carr on the teams next possession gave the Seahawks a 10-7 lead, followed by a Raiders punt, and another Hawks field goal. From there, the Raiders put back-to-back touchdowns on the board on both sides of a Geno Smith interception. Josh Jacobs bullied his way to the endzone from 30 yards out the very next play following Smith’s pick. With a 21-13 lead for Las Vegas, the Seahawks turned around and scored a touchdown on a Geno Smith to Tyler Lockett pass from 35 yards deep. The Raiders kicked a field goal to end the half, making it a 24-20 game in favor of Vegas. The second half proved to be just as exciting as the first, with the Seahawks opening with a touchdown before a Raiders field goal, leaving the game in a 27-27 tie. The score would stay that way with a mixture of punts and fumbles until late in the fourth quarter when Geno Smith connected with Travis Homer for an 18-yard score, giving the Seahawks a seven-point advantage with 5:37 to play. Not to be outdone, the Raiders took it 75 yards, ultimately leading to a Foster Moreau touchdown grab with just under two minutes remaining. After an offensive explosion, the game went to overtime with Dustin Carlson missing a 56-yard field goal attempt to win the game on the Raiders opening drive. A golden opportunity was quickly wasted by Seattle as they went three and out. From there, it took the Raiders just one play as Josh Jacobs housed an 86-yard run for the win. Jacobs finished with a whopping 229 yards rushing to go with two touchdowns, once again putting the team on his back. It’s ironic, considering the team declined his fifth-year option and talked up a committee approach prior to the season. Nonetheless, Jacobs and the Raiders picked up their fourth win of the season.

Injuries: Andrew Billings (leg), Jesper Horsted (concussion), Brandon Bolden (calf)

Week 12 Matchup: Los Angeles Chargers @ Las Vegas Raiders

Predictions for Week 13

I went 2-2 last week, brining my record on the season to 19-15.

With a divisional matchup on tap in week 13, we’ve got three games to pick. I can’t think of one good reason anybody would pick the Broncos to win in Baltimore, so I’ll take the Ravens in another depressing loss for Denver. Cincinnati is playing good football right now, but the Chiefs are playing better football right now. Give me KC in a road win. The Raiders and Chargers game will be interesting, as both teams see their share of highs and lows, but the Bolts are the better team and Herbert is balling. I’ll take the Chargers in Vegas.

What are your predictions for week 13? Let us know in the comments!