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AFC West Rundown: Week 2

Denver Broncos (2-0)

Week 2: Won 24-17 vs. Kansas City Chiefs

How it happened: The Broncos once again started off hot in the first half, scoring three touchdowns through the air with one apiece to Julius Thomas, Demaryius Thomas and Jacob Tamme. Denver's offense led them to a 21-10 lead heading into halftime. Time of possession would prove to be a key factor in the second half after a fairly balanced first half with the Chiefs controlling the ball for 20:54 to the Broncos' 9:06 in the final two quarters. By keeping the Broncos' offense off the field, the Chiefs had a good shot at tying the game at the end of the fourth quarter, but they turned the ball over on downs after the Broncos' defense refused Kansas City at the goal line.

It was over when: Terrance Knighton batted down Alex Smith's pass at the line of scrimmage on fourth down with the Chiefs knocking on the door at the Broncos' two yard line.

Key Performer: Emmanuel Sanders had his first career 100-yard game with eight catches, headlined by his 48-yard reception on the game's first play from scrimmage.

What's next: The Broncos and Seahawks face off in a Super Bowl rematch in Seattle.

Between the hashmarks:

  • Chris Harris Jr.'s conditioning is making strong progress. This week he played 93 percent of the Broncos' defensive snaps, just a week after playing 53 percent in Week 1 against the Colts.
  • The Broncos' defense had two key plays reversed in the second half. Aqib Talib's potential interception for a touchdown was taken back after an offsides penalty and DeMarcus Ware initially forced a fumble on Alex Smith on the last drive before replay ruled it an incomplete pass instead.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-2)

*Week 2: Lost 24-17 at Denver Broncos
*

How it happened: As discussed above, the Kansas City Chiefs followed a good strategy in the second half to keep their offense on the field for long periods of time, but they couldn't get the ball in the end zone in four tries from inside the 10 yard line on their final drive.

It was over when: Alex Smith's last shot to the end zone fell to the earth after being deflected by Terrance Knighton.

Key Performer: Knile Davis filled in for Jamaal Charles, who missed much of the game with an ankle sprain. Davis ran well with 79 yards on 22 carries and he had two touchdowns.

What's next: Kansas City heads to Miami to take on 1-1 Dolphins.

Between the hashmarks:

  • The Chiefs converted 11 of 16 third downs (69 percent) and had four first downs by penalty, which were essential in keeping the offense on the field.
  • Defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson, a veteran player, made his return to Denver with a big hit to take down Montee Ball for a two-yard loss. Vickerson was released by the Broncos a few weeks ago and the Chiefs are looking to him to fill some of the void with Mike DeVito out with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Oakland Raiders (0-2)

*Week 2: Lost 30-14 vs. Houston Texans
*

How it happened: The Raiders' struggles continued in Week 2 with a tough loss at home. Their running game didn't get much going and depending on rookie quarterback Derek Carr to throw 42 times did not bode well for their offense's success. The Texans ran all over the Raiders with Arian Foster's 138 yards and scored when they needed to in the air with two touchdowns from Ryan Fitzpatrick.

It was over when: The Raiders' first drive of the third quarter ended with a double-fumble: wide receiver James Joseph picked up his own fumble, continued upfield and then was stripped a second time, this time losing the ball to safety D.J. Swearinger. Most importantly, that turnover would be turned into seven points by the Texans which made the lead 24-0.

Key Performer: Despite his unfortunate fumbles, James Jones totalled 112 yards on the day with a touchdown on nine catches.

What's next: The Raiders go on the road to Foxborough to take on the Patriots.

Between the hashmarks:

  • J.J. Watt becoming a two-way star? The 2012 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year took the field with the offense in the first quarter on the goal line as an eligible receiver and scored a touchfown on a one-yard reception.
  • Carr led the Raiders in rushing Sunday, thanks to a 41-yard run on a read-option that he took into the open field.

San Diego Chargers (1-1)

*Week 2: Won 30-21 vs. Seattle Seahawks
*

How it happened: In an impressive win over the reigning Super Bowl champions, San Diego controlled the time of possession and didn't give the Seahawks' offense many opportunities to get rolling up the field. Philip Rivers made few mistakes, including zero turnovers, in a three-touchdown performance against the talented Seattle defense.

It was over when: Russell Wilson couldn't connect with Jermaine Kearse to convert on 4th-and-11 with 1:51 left in the game. It was a six-point game at that point, but after the Seahawks turned the ball over on downs, the Chargers kicked a field goal to make it a two-possession game with about 20 seconds left.

Key Performer: Antonio Gates can still get it done. Now in his 12th season as a pro, Gates proved to be a tough defensive matchup for Seattle. He caught three touchdowns and had seven receptions for 96 yards.

What's next: San Diego, too, is on the road in Week 3. They will face off against the Bills in Buffalo.

Between the hashmarks:

  • The Chargers absolutely dominated time of possession with 42:15 when the ball was in their control.
  • San Diego's defense held Seattle to a three-of-eight third-down conversion rate, and only 40 offensive plays to the Chargers' 75. Their special teams forced a fumble on a kickoff, which then led to a touchdown in the second quarter.

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