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AFC West Roundup, Week 10: Coaching matters

The Las Vegas Raiders are 2-0 with the new staff and the Denver Broncos continue to beat good teams. Here is your AFC West roundup for Week 10.

Denver Broncos v Buffalo Bills Photo by Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images

While the Kansas City Chiefs were unable to increase their lead over the rest of the division, the Las Vegas Raiders still made progress toward the top, once again surpassing the Los Angeles Chargers for second place. And even though they still may be at the bottom of the division, the Denver Broncos have now won three games in a row and have knocked off both Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen in back-to-back weeks.

They won’t be at the bottom for long.

AFC West Standings

Team W L T Div. Conf.
Team W L T Div. Conf.
Kansas City Chiefs 8 4 0 3-1 6-1
Denver Broncos 6 6 0 1-2 3-5
Los Angeles Chargers 5 7 0 1-1 3-4
Las Vegas Raiders 5 7 0 1-2 3-5

Detroit Lions @ Los Angeles Chargers

Final score: 41-38

Recap: This may be the game of the year so far. The Chargers actually were up for the challenge that they faced as Herbert & Co. pushed the Lions to the brink, but Detroit was able to win off of a last-second field goal.

This was a true heavyweight, back-and-forth, slugfest from the beginning with the teams trading field goals and then Detroit scoring the first touchdown of the game off of a 1-yard run by Jahmyr Gibbs. The second quarter featured four touchdowns; two a piece from either team. The biggest play of the game went down during one of these scores when David Montgomery scored a 75-yard rushing touchdown, the longest run play for the Lions since 2011.

The Chargers did their best to keep up. Justin Herbert had one of the better games of his career, and so did Keenan Allen, who had 11 receptions for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Ultimately this game would be decided on a high-risk move by Dan Campbell to go for it on fourth down with 1:47 left to go in the game. Rather than kicking the go-ahead field goal, the Lions would convert on fourth down, force the Chargers to use their remaining timeouts with kneel-downs, and then kick the field goal as time expired.

Injury concerns: WR Keenan Allen left the game with a shoulder injury but returned shortly after.

Week 11 matchup: Los Angeles Chargers @ Green Bay Packers

New York Jets @ Las Vegas Raiders

Final score: 12-16

Recap: We all thought that this game was going to be horrible. And we all ended up being right. This game belonged on Thursday night rather than a Sunday night.

The highly-touted, Hackett-led Jets offense managed to put up 375 yards of offense, but only had four field goals to show for it. It seemed like both teams were allergic to the end zone because the first, and only, touchdown scored on Sunday night didn’t come until the 4th quarter. We almost got one more, but New York’s attempted hail mary was just barely broken up. By one of their own receivers. Ouch.

The good news for the Jets is that Aaron Rodgers is reportedly aiming for a return to football in December. The bad news is that there’s a big chance that they’ll be eliminated from playoffs by then. And on the other side of things, the Raiders are now 2-0 in the post-McDaniels era. They’re running the ball well and their defense is playing pretty good football over the last couple of weeks. Also, they’ve now figured out that you’re able to throw to Davante Adams more than three times a game.

Injury concerns: LT Colton Miller didn’t play due to a shoulder injury. CB Amik Robertson suffered a concussion in the second quarter.

Week 11 matchup: Las Vegas Raiders @ Miami Dolphins

Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills

Final score: 24-22

Recap: There is no such thing as a bad win. And that was put on full display as the Broncos went into Buffalo as seven-point underdogs and beat the Bills for the first time in 17 years.

This was a game that went Denver’s way early with second-year UDFA Ja’Quan McMillan forcing a fumble on the very first play of the game. The Broncos would only get a field goal off of that, but then went and picked off Josh Allen on the following drive. Justin Simmons now has 30 interceptions after Monday’s game. No player has more since he entered the league.

The game should not have been as close as it was. Even though the Broncos forced four turnovers, they still had to settle for field goals four times in this one and only scored six points off of turnovers. But Sean Payton came through in the end and the Broncos were able to put together a solid drive at the end of the game (maybe getting lucky with that DPI call, thanks Jeudy). Will Lutz would miss his first attempt to win the game but was bailed out with a “12 men on the field” call against the Bills and would sink his following attempt. Much to the joy of Peyton Manning and much to the chagrin of Kyle Brandt.

Injury concerns: No new injuries were reported.

Week 11 matchup: Minnesota Vikings @ Denver Broncos (SNF)

Week 11 predictions

Following Week 10 I now stand at 21-15 on the season for my predictions. The only one I got wrong this week was the Broncos beating the Bills, but I am very happy to be wrong in that game.

This week I’ll be taking the Broncos over the Vikings, the Eagles over the Chiefs, the Chargers over the Packers, and then the Dolphins over the Raiders. Drop your predictions in the comments!