Week nine has come and gone, with the Broncos and Chargers winning and the Raiders and Chiefs losing. Let’s recap the week that was by going through the good, the bad, and the ugly from each AFC West team.
Good – The Denver linebackers sure came to play on Sunday with Von Miller sacking Andy Dalton three times and Wesley Woodyard collecting 14 tackles. Backup Danny Trevathan added a sack of his own, as the Denver pass rush was a big difference in the game, sacking Dalton a total of five times.
Bad – Peyton Manning threw two interceptions against the Bengals, after throwing just one in his previous five games. Of course, his receivers didn’t provide much help on those interceptions, specifically Eric Decker, who was the target of Manning’s throws on both interceptions.
Ugly – Even though Trindon Holliday returned a kickoff for a touchdown to open the second half, he and Lance Ball made a colossal error on another kickoff by failing to catch the ball, forcing the Broncos to start a drive at their own one-yard line.
Good – Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe had a nice night against the Chargers, catching eight passes for 79 yards. Bowe was a potential trade chip for the Chiefs, but the trade deadline has come and gone and Bowe is still in Kansas City, which is a nice silver lining Chiefs fans the rest of the season.
Bad – The offensive line was horrendous against the Chargers. Matt Cassell spent most of the night scrambling out of the pocket and running for his life. Ultimately, the pressure got to Cassell and he fumbled the ball in the end zone, leading to a defensive touchdown for San Diego.
Ugly – The Chiefs committed four turnovers Thursday night, including three lost fumbles. Those four turnovers led to two touchdowns scored by the Charger’s defense. The game was within reach after three quarters, but the turnovers killed any chance of a fourth quarter comeback and turned the game into a blowout.
Good – Even with three interceptions, Carson Palmer had quite the day against the Tampa Bay secondary. Palmer racked up 414 yards passing with 4 touchdowns, as he had plenty of success throwing the ball downfield.
Bad – In the second quarter the Raiders attempted a fake punt that went horribly wrong and fell well short of the 13 yards they needed. It didn’t have an impact on the game, but it was a stupid decision that was poorly executed
Ugly – It was Oakland’s rush defense that lost the game to the Bucs. Rookie running back Doug Martin compiled 251 yards rushing, with touchdown runs 1, 45, 67, and 70 yards. A rush defense that bad is just unacceptable.
Good – Philip Rivers returned to form Thursday night completing 18 of 20 passes with two touchdowns and an interception. After looking pitiful over his last six quarters, Rivers looked like his old self against the Chiefs. Both Rivers and the Chargers are back on track after a three-game skid.
Bad – Even in such a dominating effort the Chargers struggled a bit on third down defense, allowing the Chiefs to convert 7 of 12 opportunities. That percentage is way too high, especially against a team as bad as Kansas City. The San Diego defense will have to be better at getting off the field, or else they’re going to have problems when they face better competition.
Ugly – The interception Rivers threw right before halftime was just horrible. Eric Berry was clearly between him and the receiver and for some reason Rivers thought he could fit the ball in there instead of throwing the ball in the stands and kicking a field goal on fourth down. It didn’t cost the Chargers in the long run, but it’s the kind of mistake Rivers shouldn’t be making.