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AFC West Roundup, Week 9: Chiefs & Chargers Win, Raiders Fall on Broncos Bye Week

The Chiefs and Chargers barely escape but continue to separate from the Broncos and Raiders.

Tennessee Titans v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers barely escape, but continue to separate from the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders.

With the Broncos on bye, they were forced to sit and watch while the Chiefs and Chargers each picked up another win. Denver must string some wins together to keep pace with the top teams in the division. The Raiders, however, dropped their third game in which they were leading by 17 points. It’s time for the Broncos to distance themselves from the Raiders and make a run at the Chiefs and Chargers.

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

Las Vegas Raiders vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Final Score: 20-27

Recap: Although Vegas punted on their opening possession, the Jaguars gave it back on a Trevor Lawrence fumble as they were storming down the field in search of an early lead. The Raiders would follow up the fumble recovery with a 10-play touchdown drive. Two possessions later, their lead ballooned to 17 points after a field goal and another touchdown. The teams traded scores before a 20-10 score took the game to halftime. As much as the Raiders enjoyed the first half of football, they took little enjoyment in being blanked in the second half. After throwing for 223 yards and two scores in the first half, Derek Carr produced just 36 scoreless yards in the second half. Lawrence, on the other hand, threw for 43 yards in the first half but tallied 192 yards in the second half, including a touchdown on the first possession after halftime. The opening drive, which totaled nine plays, was followed by a 12-play touchdown drive on the Jags next possession, capped by Travis Etienne Jr. The breakout running back finished with 109 yards and two touchdowns, while Josh Jacobs was held in check with 67 rushing yards. This marks the Raiders third loss this season in which the team led by 17 points, tying an NFL record.

Injuries: Divine Deablo IR (forearm)

Week 10 Matchup: Indianapolis Colts @ Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers vs Atlanta Falcons

Final Score: 20-17

Recap: The Falcons raced out to a 10-point lead with a touchdown and a field goal on their first possessions of the game. Perhaps “crawled” would be a more apt description, as the Falcons soaked up 12:42 of game time during those possessions. The Chargers would answer, however, scoring back-to-back touchdowns on their third and fourth possessions of the first half. The two teams traded turnovers early in the second half with the score 14-10 in favor of the Chargers. A Justin Herbert interception proved costly, as the turnover at midfield helped Atlanta find the endzone on a short field. The Falcons eventually had an opportunity to extend the lead to seven points, but a missed field goal paved the way for the Chargers to tie it up with a field goal of their own. With just under a minute remaining, Los Angeles had worked their way down the field to get a look at a game winning kick before Austin Ekeler coughed it up at the Flacons 20-yard line. Atlanta didn’t seem to want to win this game, as the defense fumbled it right back after scooping up the fumble and running 20 yards with it. After the mess cleared out, Cameron Dicker netted a 37-yard game winning field goal. Austin Ekeler totaled just 71 all-purpose yards but scored both touchdowns for the Bolts, whose defense continues to get chewed up on the ground. They gave up 201 yards of rushing to the Falcons, but the birds failed to capitalize on a couple of key opportunities.

Week 10 Matchup: Los Angeles Chargers @ San Francisco 49ers

Injuries: Trey Pipkins III (knee), Austin Johnson (knee)

Tennessee Titans vs Kansas City Chiefs

Final Score: 17-20

Recap: If you had no other information besides the passing yardage accumulated by the quarterbacks in this game, you would likely assume the game resulted in a blowout. That would be a reasonable assumption after Malik Willis threw for 80 yards compared to 446 for Patrick Mahomes, but the Chiefs narrowly escaped on Sunday night at Arrowhead, 20-17. Kansas City opened with a field goal followed by a touchdown and missed PAT to take a 9-0 lead. It wouldn’t last long, however, as Derrick Henry answered with touchdowns on their next two possessions, leading to a 14-9 advantage for the Titans. After four of the game’s first six possessions resulted in points, Tennessee made a concerted effort to slow the game down. A Patrick Mahomes interception early in the second half would allow the Titans to take a 17-9 lead, but outside of that, the game was full of punts until late in the fourth quarter. When they needed it most, the Chiefs put together a 93- yard drive and eventual two-point conversion to tie the game up shortly before the two-minute warning. Kansas City rushed the ball only once on the drive, electing instead to put the ball in its quarterback’s hands. Needless to say, it paid off in the fourth quarter just as it did in overtime as they ran it just twice on the opening possession. A 28-yard field goal and eventual 4th down stop against Willis and the Titans sent the Chiefs home with their sixth victory of the season. Mahomes is likely still icing his arm after throwing the third most passes in an NFL game with 68. In addition to his 446 passing yards, he also led the team in rushing with 63 while the rest of the team accounted for 14.

Injuries: N/A

Week 10 Matchup: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Kansas City Chiefs

Predictions for Week 10

I went 3-0 last week, brining my record on the season to 14-10.

With all four teams past their bye week, we’ve got a full slate of AFC West games this week. While I think the Jaguars can hang with the Chiefs if things break right, KC is hot right now and tough to beat at Arrowhead. I’ll take the Chiefs in that one. The Colts might be the only team more lost than the Raiders right now, so I’ll take Vegas at home. The Chargers face a tough defense and an even tougher running game in the 49ers. I think they drop this one and give Denver a chance to pick up a game, which the Broncos will take advantage of and sneak out a road victory. I choose optimism this week – we’ll see how that goes.

What are your predictions for week 10? Let us know in the comments!