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AFC West Rundown: Week 5


Week 5: Won 41-20 over the Cardinals at home

How it happened: The Broncos put their foot on the gas and floored it against the previously undefeated Cardinals with an air attack that set records for most total yards in a single game and plenty of individual milestones. Without Carson Palmer, Arizona's already thin quarterback ranks got even thinner when Drew Stanton left with a concussion, leaving the team in the hands of rookie quarterback Logan Thomas. The pass rush disrupted the Cardinals all day, and Thomas' only completion was an 81-yard touchdown where he threaded the needle to Andre Ellington down the sideline. However, the Broncos' 568 total yards and five touchdowns were more than enough to swamp the Cardinals' defense.

It was over when: the Cardinals had to turn to Logan Thomas with Stanton out. Stanton had performed well in previous games, but playing from behind with a rookie quarterback against the Broncos, who had an overwhelming pass rush, secondary coverage and historic passing attack, had an incredibly difficult day in front of him.


Key performer:** Who else but Peyton Manning? Setting his career high in single-game passing yards, Manning took advantage of the single-coverage looks the Cardinals gave him as they tried to pressure him with blitz packages, and that just gave him the opportunity for him to have a historic game and to help Demaryius Thomas have one, too.

Between the hash marks:

  • The Broncos held Arizona to zero third-down conversions in the second half, with only three allowed conversions in 16 attempts.
  • In a game with so many records and milestones, Emmanuel Sanders' day went a bit under the radar. He had 101 receiving yards, including one amazing acrobatic catch that nearly turned into a 77-yard touchdown. With his third straight 100-yard game, Sanders is second in the NFL in receiving yards per game, and Demaryius Thomas is now sixth, giving Denver the only wide receiver duo with both in the top ten of receiving yards per game.

What's next: The Broncos head to East Rutherford to take on the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.


Week 5: Lost at San Francisco 22-17

How it happened: The Chiefs didn't have anywhere near as much success on the ground or through the air against San Francisco as they did the previous week against New England. Jamaal Charles had a pretty good line with 80 yards on 15 carries, but Alex Smith completed only 17 of his 31 passing attempts, and his last pass on the Chiefs' comeback try was intercepted, effectively ending the game. Though San Francisco didn't have much success getting into the end zone either, they moved the chains more and scored mostly on field goals, which gave them the win.


Check out the best moments captured during the Broncos' win over the Cardinals.

It was over when:** Alex Smith threw an interception to Perrish Cox down the right side intended for Anthony Fasano. With about two minutes left and no timeouts left, the drive was their last gasp for a go-ahead touchdown down 22-17.

Key performer: Kicker Phil Dawson hit all five of his field goals, including two from beyond 50 yards. His final three of the day gave the 49ers the come-from-behind win.

Between the hash marks:

  • The Chiefs' longest passing play went for 18 yards, and they didn't convert any third downs in the second half.
  • The Chiefs controlled the ball for only 1:44 of the final quarter.

What's next: Bye Week


Week 5: Bye week

Between the hash marks:

What's next: The Raiders hope to get their first win as they host the division-leading San Diego Chargers.


Week 5: Won 31-0 over the New York Jets

How it happened: San Diego had a pretty flawless day, shutting out the Jets with a great defensive effort and efficient combination of rushing and passing. The Chargers allowed only one third-down conversion and 151 total net yards with a mere 60 net passing yards. The Chargers did have one turnover but the Jets couldn't turn the interception into anything but their own turnover with a lost fumble. New York didn't pass midfield until their penultimate drive, which ended with a turnover on downs.

It was over when: the Chargers outgained the Jets 128 yards to 34 in the first quarter. The Jets' offense has ostensibly been their weakest point, but the defense had a rough game, too. The differential only got worse from there as San Diego went on to record 306 total net yards in the half to the Jets' 60 yards.

Key performer: A shutdown like this comes as a result of a great complete effort, but running back Branden Oliver stepped up in the wake of Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews' injuries. Oliver averaged six yards per carry for a total of 114 yards, including a 52-yard gain. He also had one touchdown on the ground and one through the air.

Between the hash marks:

  • San Diego didn't allow a play longer than nine yards until the middle of the fourth quarter.
  • The Chargers have now reeled off four straight wins and sit atop the AFC West by a half-game over Denver.

What's next: San Diego takes to the road to play Oakland in their first division game.

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