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AFC West Roundup, Week 14: Chiefs Win in Denver, Chargers Remain in Playoff Hunt

The Broncos and Raiders continue to tumble while the Chiefs and Chargers reign surpreme in the West.

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

Denver has lost 14 consecutive games to Kansas City and eight in a row against AFC West opponents. The team is in the midst of a historic tumble, making the Raiders struggles look insignificant. Vegas lost to the Rams in the final seconds of Thursday’s game after Baker Mayfield joined the team three days prior. With the Chargers pulling out a win against Miami, we are again reminded how far ahead LA and KC are 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

Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos

Final Score: 34-28

Recap: The Chiefs raced out to a 27-0 lead in Denver, giving Broncos fans an all too familiar feeling. If you kept your eyes on the game, you were pleasantly surprised with the response from the Broncos offense. After Josey Jewell intercepted a Patrick Mahomes pass, Russell Wilson turned around and completed three passes, included a 19-yard touchdown to Jerry Jeudy for six. Patrick Surtain was the beneficiary of another Patrick Mahomes interception on the very next drive. Déjà vu struck again when Wilson led a touchdown drive, capped by another endzone celebration from Jeudy. A 27-14 score gave Broncos fans an ounce of optimism entering halftime. Of course, Broncos Country knew the letdown was coming soon. It wouldn’t happen just yet, however, as the Broncos found the endzone for the third time on the opening possession of the third quarter. Marlon Mack took a Russell Wilson pass 66 yards to the house, providing a sliver of hope that this one might be different. The Chiefs responded, per usual, with a touchdown drive to widen the lead to 13 points. Denver wasn’t ready to go quietly, however. Facing a 3rd and 11 from the Chiefs 16-yard line, Wilson took off on foot, giving a diving effort to pick up the first down. Just as Russ finally began making good on his bloated contract, he would leave the game with a concussion following the scramble. Brett Rypien stepped in admirably, tossing Jeudy’s third touchdown of the game on 4th down, but it wouldn’t be enough. A 34-28 scoreboard in favor of KC leaves Broncos Country pondering the existence of moral victories.

Injuries: Russell Wilson (concussion), Mike Boone (ankle), Kendall Hinton (hamstring), Jacob Martin (knee)

Week 15 Matchups: Arizona Cardinals @ Denver Broncos | Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders vs Los Angeles Rams

Final Score: 16-17

Recap: Josh Jacobs capped off the Raiders opening drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge. Vegas took a 10-point lead after a field goal on their second possession and made it 13-3 after another field goal on their third drive. Scoring points on their first three drives is notable, because the game got quiet after that. Josh McDaniels game plan went rather conservative, while Baker Mayfield was attempting to get acclimated to his new headbutt partners. Although it took some time, the Rams began to click after falling down 16-3 late in the game. It took them 17 plays and nine minutes of game time, but a Cam Akers touchdown run made it a 16-10 game with just over three minutes left. After three straight handoffs to Josh Jacobs and a Raiders punt, Mayfield and the Rams regained possession with 1:35 left on the clock and 98 yards of grass ahead. In classic Raiders fashion, they allowed Mayfield to march down for a touchdown on his fourth day with the team, ending the game with a 23-yard touchdown toss to Van Jefferson.

Injuries: Jayon Brown (hand)

Week 15 Matchup: New England Patriots @ Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins vs Los Angeles Chargers

Final Score: 17-23

Recap: For a game with shootout potential, the Dolphins and Chargers offense each operated slowly to begin the game. A Mike Williams touchdown midway through the second quarter gave the Chargers a 10-0 lead and gave the scoring a boost. Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins offense answered quickly, going 75 yards in three plays with a Tyreek Hill touchdown, but not the exact way they drew it up. Hill scooped up a Jeff Wilson fumble and took it the distance, running 57 yards for a score. A little luck was needed for the fish, as it would be their only touchdown of the first half. The Chargers took a 17-7 lead into halftime after a 90-yard, 13 play drive ended with an Austin Ekeler touchdown. Similarly, to the first half, the offenses took a slow start into the second half until Tyreek Hill scored his second touchdown. This one, however, came from a Tagovailoa pass instead of a fumble. With a 20-14 lead, the Chargers pass-happy offense drained nearly nine minutes off the clock, kicking another field goal and leaving the Dolphins with just 2:40 left and a nine-point deficit. It was only enough time for the Dolphins to get in field goal range and put one through the uprights before a failed onside kick. Justin Herbert threw 51 times in the 23-17 win, tallying 361 yards. Compared to Tagovailoa’s 10 completions for 145 yards, it’s a miracle that Miami remained competitive.

Injuries: N/A

Week 15 Matchup: Tennessee Titans @ Los Angeles Chargers

Predictions for Week 15

Heading into week 15, my record on the season stands at 20-17.

If Russell Wilson clears concussion protocol and plays against the Cardinals, I like the Broncos at home after the momentum the offense had late last week. I’m hedging my bet here, but I don’t see Brett Rypien pulling out the win, so give me Denver if Russ plays, and Arizona if not. The Cheifs aren’t losing to Houston and the Chargers might throw for 500 yards at home against the Titans, give me two wins for the West there. Our old pal Josh McDaniels hosts his former boss, Bill Belichick, but I don’t see the student becoming the teacher here. Give me the Patriots.

What are your predictions for week 15? Let us know in the comments!