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AFC West Rundown: Week 11


Kansas City Chiefs (9-1)**

Week 11: Lost 27-17 at Denver

How it happened: The Chiefs fell for the first time in 2013 after spotting the Broncos an early 10-0 lead and never quite catching up the rest of the night. Although Kansas City responded to the early deficit with an 11-play, 80-yard drive capped by a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Smith to wide receiver Dwayne Bowe on third-and-goal, which cut the Denver lead to 10-7, the Chiefs would never get any closer. Kansas City fell into a 27-10 hole midway through the fourth quarter, due largely to a third quarter where the Chiefs gained just two first downs and ceded an 8-yard touchdown run to Broncos running back Montee Ball.

It was over when: Smith's pass intended for Bowe fell incomplete on fourth-and-3 late in the game, turning the ball over to the Broncos with 2:50 remaining.

Key performer: Bowe hauled in four catches for 57 yards – including a 26-yarder that helped set up his touchdown catch later in the drive.

What's next: The Chiefs host the Chargers on Sunday in another AFC West showdown. 

Between the hash marks:

-Running back Jamaal Charles picked up 78 yards on 16 carries, bringing his season rushing total to 803 yards – good for fifth in the NFL. Charles' yards-from-scrimmage total of 1,186 yards ranks third in the league.

-Smith was not intercepted on Sunday night and has thrown just one interception in the Chiefs' last five games. He has only been picked off four times this season.

Oakland Raiders (4-6)

Week 11: Won 28-23 at Houston

How it happened: With rookie quarterback Matt McGloin starting in place of an injured Terrelle Pryor, the Raiders jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead in Houston, then fell behind 17-14, then responded with two more scores before holding on in the game's final quarter. McGloin threw three touchdown passes, but Oakland's most critical score was provided by running back Rashad Jennings, who broke off an 80-yard touchdown run with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter to put the Raiders up 28-17. Oakland then weathered a pair of Texans field goals in the fourth quarter, setting up a dramatic finish involving a Raiders goal line stand in the game's closing moments.

It was over when: Texans quarterback Matt Schaub's pass to wide receiver Andre Johnson fell incomplete on fourth-and-7 from the Oakland 8 with 1:10 remaining, allowing the Raiders to run out the clock. 

Key performer: McGloin delivered in his first NFL start, completing 18 of 32 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions – good for a quarterback rating of 105.9.

What's next: The Raiders host the Titans on Sunday.

Between the hash marks:

-Jennings has rushed for 340 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Raiders' last three games.

-Oakland's ground attack upped its average to 145.4 yards per game, fourth-best in the league. The Raiders' 5.0 yards-per-carry ranks second in the NFL.

San Diego Chargers (4-6)

Week 11: Lost 20-16 at Miami

How it happened: The Chargers fell for a third-consecutive game on Sunday, as San Diego's second-half rally came up just short in Miami. Trailing 17-10, the Chargers embarked on a pair of drives that culminated in field goals – the second of which was keyed by a 51-yard run by running back Ryan Mathews – to pull within one point with 14:52 to play. Though the Dolphins kicked a field goal to extend their lead midway through the fourth quarter, San Diego drove into Miami territory twice in the game's closing minutes, but the Chargers were unable to convert either opportunity into points.

It was over when: Rivers' final two passes from the Miami 25 fell incomplete in the game's closing seconds.

Key performer: Mathews churned up 127 yards on 19 carries – the third time this season that he has cracked the 100-yard mark.

What's next: The Chargers will look to end their three-game losing streak when they travel to Kansas City on Sunday.  

Between the hash marks:

-Rivers completed 22 of 34 passes for 298 yards with a touchdown and an interception – good for a quarterback rating of 90.1. It was the eighth time this season that Rivers has recorded a QB rating higher than 90.0.

-The Chargers rolled up 435 yards of total offense, bumping their season average to 399.4 yards per game. That mark ranks seventh in the NFL.

Denver Broncos (9-1)

Week 11: Won 27-17 vs. Kansas City

How it happened: Denver jumped out to a 10-0 lead against Kansas City, with a 70-yard strike from quarterback Peyton Manning to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas – who broke free down the sideline in single coverage – keying the Broncos' first touchdown drive. Manning capped that drive with a touchdown pass to tight end Julius Thomas – Thomas' 10th touchdown reception of the season – and the Broncos offense continued to produce points on the NFL's top-ranked defense. Rookie running back Montee Ball – the NCAA FBS all-time touchdown leader – found the end zone twice on touchdown runs from 1 and 8 yards out in the second and third quarters, and the Broncos never trailed against the Chiefs. 

It was over when: The Broncos forced the Chiefs to turn the ball over on downs with 2:50 remaining.

Key performer: The entire offensive line. The Chiefs entered Sunday night's showdown with an NFL-best 36 sacks. They walked out of Sports Authority Field at Mile High with the same number. The Denver offensive line kept Kansas City from registering a single quarterback hit on Manning.  

What's next: The Broncos play on *Sunday Night Football *for a second-consecutive week, traveling to New England for a showdown with the Patriots.

Between the hash marks:

-The win was the Broncos' ninth in a row against AFC West opponents, the second-longest streak in franchise history.

-Defensive end Shaun Phillips was active on the line throughout the evening. Phillips registered 10 tackles and 1.5 sacks – in addition to batting down two passes at the line. He has 9.0 sacks on the season, tied for fifth in the NFL.

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