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AFC West Rundown: Week 13


  1. DENVER BRONCOS (9-3)**

Week 13: Won 29-16 at Kansas City Chiefs

How it happened: The Broncos fired out to a 14-0 lead behind a powerful running game, timely passing and a dominant defense that held the Chiefs to minus-10 yards in the first quarter. Demaryius Thomas caught a 23-yard touchdown and C.J. Anderson took a short pass 15 yards for the score on the first two Broncos possessions. Behind a career day from Anderson, the Broncos continued to move the ball and wind the clock, getting five field goals from Connor Barth in his first appearance as a Bronco. Jack Del Rio's unit finished off the Chiefs, allowing a total of 151 yards while picking up six sacks and forcing three turnovers.

It was over when: With less than four minutes remaining and the Chiefs trailing by 13, Rahim Moore jarred the ball free from Donnie Avery's grasp and Bradley Roby recovered the fumble, giving possession back to the Broncos.

Key performer: Behind a gelling offensive line, C.J. Anderson set a career-high in rushing yards for the second game in a row with 168.

Between the hash marks:

-DeMarcus Ware stuffed the stat sheet, picking up a sack, two tackles for loss, two QB hits and an interception off a pass that was batted by Terrance Knighton.

-Barth's five field goals tied Jason Elam's franchise record for most in a game.

-In addition to Barth's big day, Denver's special teams also executed a fake punt, had a 22-yard punt return and recovered a muffed punt.

What's next: The Broncos host the 7-5 Bills at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.


Week 13: Won 34-33 at Baltimore Ravens

How it happened: The Chargers used a 21-point fourth quarter to rally from a 10-point deficit and beat the Ravens in one of the tougher road venues in the league. San Diego trailed from the start, going down 10-0 halfway through the first quarter, but remained within striking distance. After forcing the Ravens to kick a field goal from deep in San Diego territory to extend the lead to six, Philip Rivers took the Chargers 80 yards for the game-winning score to Eddie Royal, which was set up by a 28-yard pass interference penalty against Baltimore. The defense hung on in the final 38 seconds to bring the Chargers' win streak to three games.

It was over when: Brandon Flowers tackled Kamar Aiken in bounds on the final play of the game to force the clock to run out before the Ravens could attempt a game-winning field goal.


Key performer:** In his second game back from injury, Ryan Mathews picked up 113 total yards on just 14 touches, including a 32-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.

Between the hash marks:

-Despite throwing an interception, Philip Rivers finished with a QB rating of 113.5, throwing for 383 yards and three touchdowns on the day.

-Keenan Allen continued his hot streak with 11 catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

-There were only two punts in this game, one by each team. Together the teams' scored on 13 of the 18 offensive possessions in the game.

What's next: The Chargers return home for a Sunday night matchup with the Patriots.


Week 13: Lost 29-16 vs. Denver Broncos

How it happened: The Chiefs fell down early against the Broncos' mix of rushing and passing success, and Kansas City's offense couldn't string together first downs nor execute on third downs to stop Denver's early run. They were dominated on the line of scrimmage, allowing six sacks and 214 rushing yards, while only gaining 41 yards on the ground themselves. Their defense tightened up a bit in holding the Broncos to little success in the red zone, but the Chiefs offense was often ineffective.

It was over when: the Chiefs' would-be first down pass late in the game down two possessions became a fumble that fell into Bradley Roby's hands.

Key performer: Justin Houston has been a terror all season and got his 14th sack of the season on Sunday. His sack and forced fumble on Peyton Manning in the beginning of the third quarter gave the ball back to the Chiefs, but they were held to a field goal.

Between the hash marks:

  • The offense gained fewer total net yards (151) than how many yards the defense allowed C.J. Anderson to run for (168).
  • The Chiefs converted just one of nine third downs despite averaging a starting field position at their own 33-yard line.
  • Jamaal Charles missed nearly the entire game in the first matchup between the Broncos and Chiefs, but didn't have a huge impact in this game with only 35 rushing yards, though he did add a receiving touchdown.

What's next: The Chiefs will try to end their two-game skid next Sunday on the road vs. the 9-3 Cardinals in Glendale.


Week 13: Lost 52-0 at St. Louis Rams

How it happened: All the progress the Raiders seemed to have made in their defeat of the Chiefs disappeared promptly as the Rams were up 21-0 by the end of the first quarter and 38-0 at the half. Tre Mason had three touchdowns, including a 98-yard TD run in the second quarter. Shaun Hill had just 183 passing yards and had a rushing TD, but the Rams were able to outgain the Raiders 172-61 on the ground. The St. Louis defense was all over the Raiders, forcing five turnovers and racking up six sacks, including three from Robert Quinn. A 43-yard pick-six by Trumaine Johnson with just over five minutes left capped off the dominating win for the Rams.

It was over when: Tavon Austin's 18-yard touchdown run with 2:37 left in the first quarter created an insurmountable 21-point deficit for the Raiders.

Key performer: Justin Tuck finished the game with two tackles for loss, one sack and one pass defensed.

Between the hash marks:

  • The Raiders began the game with three-straight three-and-outs.

-Matt Schaub came into the game in the fourth quarter and had his first completion as a Raider.

-Hill's rushing touchdown was his first since 2008.

What's next: The Raiders face the 49ers at home.

Flip through photos of the Broncos' 58 touchdowns this season, from Julius Thomas' opening-week hat trick to Peyton Manning's No. 509 to Virgil Green's first NFL touchdown.

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