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NFL Week 7: AFC West Preview

Many “experts” pointed to the AFC West as one of the worst divisions in the NFL coming into this season. Every year a few teams get off to a hot start and string together some wins as they go undefeated. One by one these teams get knocked off of the undefeated pedestal and Mercury Morris celebrates once again with the rest of his 14-0 1972 Miami Dolphins teammates. This year there are two undefeated teams left and both of them reside in the AFC West.

Right now the standings are as follows:

Denver Broncos       6 – 0

Kansas City Chiefs   6 – 0

San Diego Chargers 3 – 3

Oakland Raiders       2 – 4

Let’s take a look at each of their week seven match ups (The Raiders are on a bye week):

San Diego Chargers @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Phillip Rivers and the Chargers passing game is hitting it’s stride as they go to Jacksonville. They are coming off of a very good outing against the Indianapolis Colts. Rivers was 22/33 for 237 yards and a touchdown. Keenan Allen is nicely developing into a number one receiver. He has put together two straight 100 yard games. Ryan Matthews also showed some life last week.

The Jaguars are truly the worst team in the NFL. They have suffered from abysmal quarterback play. Justin Blackmon has come back from his suspension with a vengeance. Gus Bradley is still working to get his young secondary up to par. They are ranked 14th against the pass with an average of 231.8 yards allowed per game.

The Chargers will continue to ride the passing offense which is fifth in the NFL. They are gaining 297.2 yards passing. Expect another big game from Rivers and Allen as the Chargers keep the Jaguars winless for the seventh straight time.

Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs

The Texans are in the midst of a bad streak of games. Their quarterbacks have thrown an interception return for a touchdown in six straight games. Fortunately, the Texans are still able to move the ball on the ground. Arian Foster is the perfect match for their zone blocking scheme. He is a downhill runner that will make one sudden cut and get up field.  Defensively, this team is really good. They have two of the better defenders in the NFL in J.J. Watt and Brian Cushing. This unit is ranked first in the NFL in total defense and passing yards allowed per game.

The Chiefs are winning games with a formula similar to what worked for the 2011 San Francisco 49ers. Alex Smith is back to his game managing ways. The team relies on creating turnovers on defense, running the ball effectively and winning the field position game with stellar special teams play. Jamaal Charles is coming off of a two touchdown game against the Raiders. The offense was only 1/12 on third down opportunities against the Raiders. This will need to improve.Justin Houston has 9.5 sacks already on the season. He will look to put pressure on whoever is playing quarterback for the Texans and force them to make a bad throw. Eric Berry continues to show why he is considered one of the best safeties in the game.

The Chiefs will make it to 7 – 0 after they beat a struggling Texans team at home. Last week the crowd at Arrowhead was able to regain their position as the loudest outdoor stadium.

Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts

This is the game of the week. Peyton Manning returns to the place where it all started. Lucas Oil Field is the house that he has built. The Broncos are high flying with their trio of receivers: Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas  and Wes Welker. Welker already has eight touchdowns and 37 receptions. The Broncos defense “only” scored 35 points, which was a season low. Von Miller will make his 2013 debut with the Broncos. Their defense was already lights out only giving up 69 yards rushing per game. Duke Ihenacho is a surprising rookie safety that will come up and lay a hit on runners.

Andrew Luck took on the job of replacing a legend and he has done it well. His receivers let him down by dropping a bunch of Luck’s passes. They will need to have a much better offensive showing this week. T.Y. Hilton is going to need to show up big time in this game. Trent Richardson and the running game will be going against the top rated rushing defense. Robert Mathis has 9.5 sacks but Manning is one of the hardest quarterbacks to sack.

Look for the Broncos to win this one as Peyton Manning goes back to Indianapolis. The Broncos’ passing game is just too much for the Colts. Knowshon Moreno is running the ball hard as well.

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Ralph Garcia


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