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AFC West Rundown: Week 13

Posted Dec 4, 2013

Take a look at how the AFC West fared in Week 13 and what lies ahead for the four teams this week.

Kansas City Chiefs (9-3)

Week 13: Lost 35-28 vs. Denver

How it happened: With a raucous crowd at Arrowhead Stadium urging them on, the Chiefs jumped out to a 21-7 lead over the Broncos after a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by running back Knile Davis and a 12-yard touchdown pass from Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to tight end Anthony Fasano put Kansas City in the driver’s seat early in the second quarter. However, the Broncos stormed back with 35 consecutive points – with Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throwing five touchdown passes, four of which went to wide receiver Eric Decker. Kansas City made one final late push, as running back Jamaal Charles leaped into the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown run with 6:32 to play – cutting the Broncos’ lead to 7 – and Smith rallied the Chiefs down the field one last time with completions of 26, 28 and 23 yards to wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, running back Dexter McCluster and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, respectively. However, the Chiefs’ late heroics were denied when Broncos safety Mike Adams broke up Smith’s fourth-down pass in the end zone with 1:46 to play.

It was over when: Broncos running back Montee Ball ran 28 yards for a first down on the ensuing possession after the Chiefs turned the ball over on downs, allowing Denver to run out the clock.

Key performer: Smith completed 26 of 42 passes for 293 yards, a pair of touchdowns and an interception – and the quarterback added 46 rushing yards on four attempts.

What’s next: The Chiefs will look to snap their three-game losing streak when they hit the road against the Redskins on Sunday.

Between the hash marks:

-Charles rushed for 93 yards on 19 attempts and had a pair of receptions for 27 yards. It was the 10th time this season that the running back has recorded 100 or more combined yards in a game – and as he cracked the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season, Charles also gained ground on Eagles running back LeSean McCoy’s NFL-best 1,523 combined yards, as Charles pushed his own total to 1,463.

-Davis’ return was the longest in Kansas City history. 

 

Oakland Raiders (4-8)

Week 13: Lost 31-24 at Dallas

How it happened: The Raiders fell by a touchdown or less for a second time in two weeks, allowing 24 of the Cowboys’ 31 points in the game’s final 30:10. Oakland got off to the fastest possible start as wide receiver Greg Jenkins returned a Cowboys fumble 23 yards for a touchdown on the game’s opening kickoff. The Raiders rode that wave of momentum to a 21-7 lead, with running back Rashad Jennings finding the end zone on a pair of touchdown runs. However, Oakland conceded a 4-yard touchdown run to Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray with 10 seconds to play in the first half, and Dallas dominated the scoreboard in the second half. Trailing 28-21 in the fourth quarter, the Raiders’ best chance for a rally fell short when quarterback Matt McGloin’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by a Cowboys cornerback with 8:39 to play.

It was over when: The Raiders were unable to recover an onside kick in the game’s closing seconds after Sebastian Janikowski’s 45-yard field goal narrowed the margin to 31-24.

Key performer: Wide receiver Andre Holmes caught seven passes for 136 yards – both career highs.

What’s next: The Raiders will hit the road for a Sunday showdown with the Jets.

Between the hash marks:

-McGloin completed 18-of-30 passes for 255 yards in his third career NFL start. For the season, the rookie has thrown for 799 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.

-Jennings has rushed for 588 yards and four touchdowns this season – good for a 4.7 yards-per-carry average.

 

San Diego Chargers (5-7)

Week 13: Lost 17-10 vs. Cincinnati

How it happened: The Chargers were unable to capitalize on momentum from their 41-38 win over Kansas City in Week 12, losing three turnovers against the Bengals on Sunday. Quarterback Philip Rivers threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ladarius Green with 11:11 left in the second quarter, and the two teams were deadlocked 7-7 at the half. However, the Chargers conceded a 21-yard touchdown pass from Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to wide receiver A.J. Green late in the third quarter and fell into a 10-point hole after Cincinnati added a field goal in the fourth. Though kicker Nick Novak’s 48-yard field goal brought the Chargers back within a touchdown with 4:43 to play, San Diego never saw the ball again, as the Bengals converted three first downs on the game’s final drive.

It was over when: Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis picked up 5 yards on third-and-4 in the game’s closing moments, allowing Cincinnati to run out the clock.

Key performer: Safety Eric Weddle totaled seven tackles, a tackle for loss and an interception, helping the Chargers hold Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton under 200 passing yards.

What’s next: The Chargers host the New York Giants on Sunday.  

Between the hash marks:

-Rivers threw for 252 yards on Sunday, bringing his season total to 3,633 yards – fourth-best in the NFL.

-Tight end Ladarius Green had two catches for 45 yards and a touchdown – over the last three games, he’s had nine receptions for 206 yards.

 

Denver Broncos (10-2)

Week 13: Won 35-28 at Kansas City

How it happened: Despite the loud crowd at Arrowhead Stadium, Manning and Decker ultimately made the most noise on Sunday. Though their first touchdown connection – a 41-yard scoring strike – got the Broncos on the board with 14:53 remaining in the second quarter, the duo saved their best for after Denver had fallen into a 14-point deficit. Decker’s 42-yard catch midway through the second quarter set up Manning’s 3-yard touchdown pass to running back Knowshon Moreno, cutting the Chiefs’ lead to 21-14. In the second half, they clicked three more times for touchdowns – on scoring passes from 37, 15 and 1 yard out.

It was over when: Ball picked up a late first down with his 28-yard scamper, allowing the Broncos to run out the clock.

Key performer: Decker’s four touchdown catches set a Broncos franchise record – and the wide receiver totaled a career-high 174 yards on eight receptions for the game.

What’s next: After playing three-of-four games on the road, the Broncos return to Sports Authority Field at Mile High to take on the Tennessee Titans.

Between the hash marks:

-Denver specialized in the big play on Sunday. The Broncos offense totaled 12 plays of 15 yards or longer, six of which went for more than 30 yards.

-Manning’s five touchdown passes pushed his season total to 41 – a tie for eighth-best in NFL history for a single season.

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