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AFC West Rundown: Week 10

Posted Nov 12, 2013

Take a look at how the AFC West fared in Week 10 and what lies ahead for the four teams this week.

Kansas City Chiefs (9-0)

Week 10: The Chiefs had their bye week.

What’s next: The Chiefs travel to Denver for a Sunday Night Football matchup between the two teams with the best records in the AFC.

Between the hash marks:

-Running back Jamaal Charles' versatile productivity has bolstered the Chiefs' offense throughout the team’s first nine games. Charles’ 1,114 combined yards in 2013 rank second in the NFL – he has accumulated 725 rushing yards and 389 receiving yards. Charles’ 47 receptions lead all Kansas City players.

-In limiting opponents to an NFL-low 12.3 points per game, the Kansas City defense has poured on the pressure, generating a league-best 36 sacks. Linebackers Justin Houston (11.0 sacks) and Tamba Hali (9.0 sacks) are tied for third- and fifth-best in the league. The Chiefs’ 23 takeaways also rank at the top of the NFL.

Oakland Raiders (3-6)

Week 10: Lost 24-20 at New York Giants

How it happened: The defenses of both teams took center stage on Sunday, as the Raiders limited the Giants to 251 yards of total offense – but New York stifled Oakland to just 213 yards. Cornerback Tracy Porter’s 43-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:18 remaining in the second quarter gave the Raiders a 17-14 edge at halftime. However, the Raiders ceded the lead late in the third quarter after a 1-yard touchdown run by Giants running back Andre Brown gave New York a 21-20 lead. The Raiders had two opportunities to launch game-winning drives in the fourth quarter, but were only able to gain a total of eight yards on those two drives.

It was over when: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor was sacked late in the fourth quarter by Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka – Pryor fumbled the ball, which was recovered by defensive end Cullen Jenkins with 3:21 remaining. New York needed to pick up one first down, and Brown gained it by picking up eight yards on second-and-7, sealing the game for the Giants.

Key performer: Porter’s score gave the Raiders a boost on the scoreboard before halftime, and the cornerback also had three tackles and one pass defensed.

What’s next: The Raiders will look to break a two-game losing streak as they travel to Houston to take on the Texans.

Between the hash marks:

-Running back Rashad Jennings churned up 88 yards on 20 carries on Sunday – the fifth-year pro has rushed for 190 yards and added 93 receiving yards over the last two weeks. The Raiders’ rush attack ranks fifth in the NFL at 143.2 yards per game.

-The Oakland defense held Giants quarterback Eli Manning to just 140 passing yards on Sunday – well below his average of 256.3 yards per game.

San Diego Chargers (4-5)

Week 10: Lost 28-20 vs. Denver

How it happened: The Chargers held a time-of-possession advantage of over 16 minutes on Sunday, but the Broncos managed to accumulate 397 yards of total offense in the 21:57 that Denver held the ball. After spotting Denver a 28-6 lead early in the third quarter, San Diego gradually narrowed the score with a 7-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Philip Rivers to running back Danny Woodhead with 8:38 remaining in the third quarter, followed by a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Ryan Mathews with 10:42 left in the game that narrowed the score to 28-20. However, the Chargers advanced the ball only 19 yards on their final offensive possession, and Denver ultimately ran out the clock.

It was over when: Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno rushed seven yards on second-and-2 for a first down – Denver’s second of its final possession – allowing quarterback Peyton Manning to kneel down twice and end the game.

Key performer: Rivers completed 19-of-29 passes for 218 yards and a touchdown, finishing the game with a 99.5 quarterback rating and connecting on a key 30-yard completion to wide receiver Eddie Royal on third-and-13 early in the fourth quarter, keeping the Chargers’ hopes alive.

What’s next: The Chargers will look to snap a two-game losing streak when they travel across the country and play the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday.

Between the hash marks:

-Rivers is one of only five quarterbacks in the NFL with a quarterback rating of over 100 for the season – his 105.9 mark ranks fourth in the league.

-In his 11th NFL season, tight end Antonio Gates continues to produce for the Chargers. Gates had four catches for 62 yards on Sunday, and the tight end ranks 20th among all players in the NFL with 612 receiving yards.

Denver Broncos (8-1)

Week 10: Won 28-20 at San Diego

How it happened: The Broncos struck three times in a span of just over 10 minutes, with wide receiver Demaryius Thomas finding the end zone all three times, in jumping out to a 28-6 lead on Sunday. Thomas’ third touchdown, a 34-yard catch-and-run on a screen pass from Manning, moved him into a four-way tie for second in the NFL with nine receiving touchdowns on the season – and it also gave the Broncos a 22-point cushion with 11:34 to play. Although the Chargers narrowed that lead to eight, the Denver defense came through when it mattered most, sacking Rivers twice in the final quarter and keeping the Chargers from crossing midfield on San Diego’s final possession.

It was over when: Moreno picked up a first down during the game’s final two minutes. Moments prior, Manning converted a key second-and-7 situation when he found Demaryius Thomas for a 9-yard gain.

Key performer: Thomas finished with seven receptions for 108 yards and a hat-trick of touchdowns, which tied a franchise record.

What’s next: The Broncos host the Chiefs in a Sunday Night Football showdown.

Between the hash marks:

-Rivers had been sacked only 12 times entering Sunday’s game, but the Broncos defense brought down the San Diego quarterback four times on the afternoon. The performance brought Denver’s season sack total to 26.

-Manning’s 330 passing yards brought his season total to a league-best 3,249 yards – marking the 15th time in the quarterback’s NFL career that he has thrown for 3,000 or more yards in a season. Manning tossed four touchdown passes, bringing his season total to 33, which tied Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s 2007 mark as the most in NFL history by a quarterback through nine games of a season.