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AFC West Rundown: Week 7

Posted Oct 22, 2013

Take a look at how the AFC West fared in Week 7 - and what lies ahead for the four teams this week.

Kansas City Chiefs (7-0)

Week 7: Won 17-16 vs. Houston

How it happened: The Chiefs kept their undefeated season intact with a gutty defensive effort in the fourth quarter. Clinging to a 17-16 lead, Kansas City yielded Houston four possessions in the final quarter, yet didn’t allow the Texans to cross midfield once. The Chiefs sacked Texans quarterback Case Keenum four times in the game’s final 15 minutes.

It was over when: Tamba Hali sacked Keenum and forced a fumble that was recovered by Derrick Johnson at the Houston 1-yard line with 1:34 to play.

Key performer: With the game on the line, Hali rose to the occasion and elevated his play. The linebacker recorded 2.5 sacks in the fourth quarter and forced a pair of fumbles – including one fumble on 3rd-and-8 from the Texans 43 that sent Houston backwards 20 yards and snuffed out a potential game-winning drive – bringing his season total to nine sacks for an NFL-best 71.5 sack yards. 

What’s next: The NFL’s final remaining unbeaten, the Chiefs will look to extend their perfect record for another week when they host the Browns (3-4) at Arrowhead Stadium.

Between the hash marks:

-Running back Jamaal Charles had another strong afternoon for the Chiefs. Charles totaled 86 rushing yards on 21 carries and caught three passes for 37 yards, and he also found the end zone on a 1-yard run in the first quarter. Charles has scored in every game this season, and he brought his AFC-leading combined yardage total to 898 yards.

-The Chiefs recorded five sacks on Sunday, bringing their NFL-best total to 35 on the season – 10 more than the league’s next-best in that category (Baltimore).

 

Oakland Raiders (2-4)

Week 7: The Raiders had their bye week.

How it happened: N/A

It was over when: N/A

Key performer: N/A

What’s next: After a week off, the Raiders will look to bounce back from their Week 6 loss to the Chiefs when they host the Steelers (2-4) Sunday.

Between the hash marks:

-The Raiders will look to snap a 10-game streak of losing their first game after a bye week. However, the Raiders have won their past two contests over the Steelers in Oakland.  

-The Raiders continue to specialize in the run game – on both sides of the ball. Oakland’s 129.2 rushing yards per game are 22.4 above the league average, and the Raiders come into Sunday’s game ceding just 99.0 yards per game, 7.8 below the NFL average. The Raiders have not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season.

 

San Diego Chargers (4-3)

Week 7: Won 24-6 at Jacksonville

How it happened: Behind a smothering defensive effort (the Chargers sacked Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne six times and allowed running back Maurice Jones-Drew just 37 yards on the ground), a 100-yard rushing effort from Ryan Mathews, and a highly-efficient performance from quarterback Philip Rivers, the Chargers seized control throughout the afternoon in Jacksonville.

It was over when: Mathews scored his second touchdown of the day, a 3-yard touchdown run, giving the Chargers a 24-6 lead with 14:06 to play.

Key performer: Rivers was precise through the air, completing 22-of-26 passes for 285 yards and a touchdown – good for a quarterback rating of 125.2, Rivers’ best effort this season. His 111.1 QB rating for the season is second in the NFL only to Peyton Manning.

What’s next: Winners in three of their last four games, the Chargers enter their bye week on a hot streak. San Diego will return to the field on Nov. 3 when they travel to Washington.

Between the hash marks:

-After going nearly two years between 100-yard rushing games before he cracked the century mark in Week 6, Mathews certainly didn’t wait very long for another repeat performance. The running back rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown against the Jaguars.

-The Chargers offense ranks fifth in the NFL with 402.9 yards per game, but San Diego ranks even higher in a more crucial category – the Chargers have converted on 49.4 percent of their third-down attempts, second only to the Broncos’ 52.8 percent. On Sunday, San Diego was 7-for-12 on third down.

Denver Broncos (6-1)

Week 7: Lost 39-33 at Indianapolis

How it happened: After falling behind by 19 points with 12:59 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Broncos climbed back into the game with Manning’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas and Knowshon Moreno’s 1-yard touchdown plunge with 8:44 to play, cutting the Colts’ lead to 36-30. However, the Broncos turned the ball over twice late in the game and ultimately ran out of time.

It was over when: The Colts recovered Matt Prater’s onside kick attempt with 12 seconds remaining.

Key performer: When the Broncos needed a spark in the fourth quarter, Eric Decker provided it. Decker’s 49-yard tipped reception helped spark the Broncos’ comeback attempt – and that was hardly the wide receiver’s only contribution. Decker caught eight passes for a career-high 150 yards and a touchdown.

What’s next: The Broncos will look to rebound when they host the Redskins (2-4) on Sunday – Denver’s final game before its bye week.

Between the hash marks:

- Julius Thomas’ 12-yard touchdown reception from Manning in the second quarter was his eighth score of 2013 – he’s now caught at least one touchdown in all but one game this season. And although Thomas’ teammate, Wes Welker, failed to find the end zone for the first time this season, Welker turned in a strong effort, catching seven passes for 96 yards.

-Defensive end Shaun Phillips sacked Colts quarterback Andrew Luck in the first quarter, giving Phillips 6.5 sacks on the season – tied for seventh best in the NFL.

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