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AFC West Rundown: Week 14


  1. DENVER BRONCOS (10-3)**

*Week 14: Won 24-17 vs. Buffalo Bills *

How it happened: The Bills got off to a rough start on their first drive when Bradley Roby forced a fumble that was recovered by Rahim Moore. On their next drive, the Bills turned the ball over on downs. While Peyton Manning didn't throw a touchdown pass, the Broncos' offense was led by C.J. Anderson, who had three TD scores, and Juwan Thompson. Each team turned the ball over three times, but the Bills were penalized on both interception returns, hurting their field position. The Bills were able to tack on two touchdowns in the fourth quarter but the Broncos held on for the W.

It was over when: David Bruton recovered the Bills' onside kick attempt with less than a minute left in the game.

Key performer: With a career-high three touchdowns to go with 58 rushing yards, C.J. Anderson spearheaded the Broncos' offense when the passing game couldn't get off the ground.

Between the hash marks:

  • Juwan Thompson's career-high 63 rushing yards on just four carries led the Broncos. He also had a season-long 47 yard run.
  • Sunday's game ended Peyton Manning's streak of games with at least one touchdown pass at 51.
  • Wes Welker had a season-high 82 receiving yards on six catches.

What's next: The Broncos head to San Diego to face the Chargers.

- Lauren Giudice


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.


Week 14: Lost 23-14 vs. New England Patriots

How it happened: The Chargers fired out to a 14-3 lead behind a gorgeous touchdown catch from Malcom Floyd and a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by Darrell Stuckey. The Chargers' defense performed well, forcing two field goal attempts and picking off Tom Brady in three first-half red-zone possessions. The offense could not generate much however, failing to score on any of its final 10 drives. Making matters worse, punter Mike Scifres left the game in the second quarter with a broken collarbone, forcing kicker Nick Novak to punt in his stead. The Patriots pulled away in the fourth quarter with a tackle-breaking catch-and-run by Julian Edelman for a 69-yard touchdown.

It was over when: Facing third-and-2 from their own 20-yard line, the Patriots converted with a 5-yard scramble from Tom Brady. Still down nine points with a sputtering offense, the Chargers were forced to use their timeouts and couldn't get the ball back until just 2:05 remained.

Key performer: Melvin Ingram, in his third game back from a hip injury that landed him on short-term IR, picked up a sack of Brady and harassed the Patriots' run game all night for three tackles for loss.

Between the hash marks:

-In a down performance, Philip Rivers collected 189 passing yards and an interception on 33 attempts.

-Keenan Allen was blanketed by Darrelle Revis, finishing with two catches for three yards.

-After short punts of 27 and 33 yards to begin, Novak settled into his emergency role and boomed punts of 45, 51 and 46 yards.

What's next: The Chargers host the Broncos in a game that could decide the AFC West.

-David DeChant

Kansas City Chiefs (7-6)

Week 14: Lost 17-14 at Arizona Cardinals

How it happened: The Chiefs' skid continued on Sunday with a tough loss on the road in Arizona. Despite their offense outplaying the Cardinals', a combination of turnovers and penalties killed Kansas City late in the game. The Chiefs actually had the lead until late in the third quarter, having held the Cardinals to just field goals while they scored two touchdowns. A 14-6 halftime lead turned quickly in the third quarter and the Chiefs ended their first drive of the quarter failing to convert on a fourth down try, turning the ball over on downs. On Kansas City's next drive, Alex Smith threw an interception and Arizona turned it into a touchdown, and added on a two-point conversion to complete an 11-point third quarter. Despite plenty of possessions in the fourth quarter for both teams, neither could move the sticks and the Chiefs suffered an extremely costly and controversial fumble from Cardinals territory with about five minutes left. After the Cardinals missed their second field goal of the day, Kansas City got the ball back but struggled to move the ball and turned it over on downs.

It was over when: Alex Smith threw four consecutive incompletions in the last minute, turning the ball over on downs with the Chiefs needing to get a field goal to tie.

Key performer: Jamaal Charles exploded for a 63-yard run on the Chiefs' first drive of the game and finished with 91 yards on 10 carries. He also had two receptions for 20 yards, including a touchdown, marking his third straight week with a receiving touchdown.

Between the hash marks:

  • Alex Smith was sacked five times for a cumulative loss of 29 yards.
  • Kansas City's averaging starting position was at their own 21, while the Cardinals started at their own 32 on average.
  • The Chiefs were penalized nine times for 75 total yards, including 26 in the fourth quarter.

What's next: The Chiefs return home to Arrowhead to take on the Raiders.

-Ben Swanson


*Week 14: Won 24-13 vs. San Francisco 49ers *

How it happened: Unlike their Week 13 loss in St. Louis, where the Rams scored 21 points in the first quarter, the Raiders got off to a great start with Brandon Ross picking off Colin Kaepernick on the first play from scrimmage. The Raiders' pass rush kept consistent pressure on Kaepernick and sacked him five times and picked him off twice, including Charles Woodson's game-sealing interception. Derek Carr had the best game of his career and spread the ball to a variety of receivers and Mychal Rivera led the team with seven catches on seven targets for 108 yards and a touchdown.

It was over when: Phil Dawson's 47-yard field goal missed wide left with less just over five minutes to go and the Raiders up by 11.

Key performer: Derek Carr finished the game with a passer rating of 140.2, an average of 9.07 yards per attempt and a 78.6 completion percentage – all season highs.

Between the hash marks:

  • Rivera's 109 receiving yards make him just the second Raider to have a 100-yard receiving game this season.
  • Left tackle Donald Penn's 3-yard TD catch was the third score of his career.
  • Antonio Smith and Khalil Mack each had two sacks.

What's next: The Raiders head to Kansas City to face the Chiefs.

-Lauren Giudice

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