Week 2 saw Oakland and Kansas City still failing to impress while San Diego showed why they should be on the top in the AFC and Denver just fell apart.
This article summarizes the five lessons learned from this weekend in the AFC West.
Despite Lots of Passing Yards, Oakland Cannot Score Touchdowns
Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer did two things in Week 2 exactly the same way he did them in Week 1, throw for lots of yards, while being ineffective at scoring touchdowns.
In Week 1 Palmer passed for 297 yards on 33 attempts, and in Week 2 he passed for 373 yards on 24 completions but in both games, Palmer only scored one passing touchdown, while Sebastian Janikowski has been called on to kick four field goals.
Additionally, Oakland’s punter, Shane Lechler, had nine punts in the game against Miami for 422 yards.
Two other things that were detrimental to Oakland’s offense was the fact that Palmer threw an interception, while failing to score a touchdown in the red zone.
The effects of these problems are obvious, if Oakland cannot the ball in the end zone, they are going to lose like they did to Miami 35-13.
Oakland’s Darren McFadden is Failing to Impress
Despite being the workhorse in Week 1, running back Darren McFadden managed only gained 32 yards on 15 attempts while only accumulating 86 yards on 13 receptions. In both roles McFadden failed to find the end zone.
McFadden saw less work in Week 2, which resulted in even worse statistics.
Against Miami, McFadden was given 11 carries, which he turned into only 22 yards, with his single longest run being four yards. In the passing game, McFadden had only two receptions which he turned into only 19 yards. Again in Week 2, McFadden failed to find the end zone.
Expectations were high for McFadden coming into the 2012 season, after a 1,157 rushing yard season, and 507 receiving yard season in 2010 before being lost for the second half of the season in 2011 season.
However, right now Oakland’s offense is helping Oakland living up to its identity of disappointing their fans.
Kansas City Can’t Prevent Turnovers or Sacks
In Week 1 Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel was sacked three times for a loss 17 yards. In Week 2 Cassel was taken down five times for a loss of 29 yards.
Cassel has dealt with many injuries over the past few seasons and if Kansas City’s offensive line keeps letting Cassel get sacked, they are just asking for Cassel to end up injured again.
A second problem Cassel and the Kansas City offense has dealt with the first two weeks of the season, is turnovers. In Week 1 Cassel was responsible for three turnovers which the Atlanta Falcons turned into 13 points.
In week two, Cassel threw another interception and lost another fumble, while running back Peyton Hillis also lost a fumble and Buffalo turned one of the three turnovers into seven points.
Buffalo ran all over Kansas City and won the game 35-17.
Kansas City is the AFC West basement along with the Oakland Raiders, and both seem clueless on how to climb out.
San Diego’s Offense Explodes, Chargers are 2-0
Despite injuries to running back Ryan Matthew and tight end Antonio Gates, the San Diego Chargers were still able to get the job done against Tennessee, beating the Titans 38-10.
Running back Jackie Battle, who had only two touchdowns in all of 2011, and only 20 rushing attempts in all of 2010, rushed the ball 14 times for 69 yards, and scored two fourth quarter touchdowns, that helped San Diego finish shutting the door on Tennessee.
Tight end Dante Rosario who spent four seasons in Carolina from 2007-2010, before coming to Denver in 2011, had only five career touchdowns coming into today’s game against Tennessee. However, Rosario became Rivers favorite against the Titans, racking up four receptions, 48 yards, and an impressive three touchdowns.
San Diego had plenty of time to run the offense as they kicked Tennessee’s butt in time of possession having the ball for 43 minutes and 39 seconds, compared to Tennessee’s 16 minutes and 21 seconds.
San Diego looked sharp and should match up well with the Atlanta Falcons in week 3.
Denver Killed by Turnovers, Penalties, and Referee Controversy
In week one the Atlanta Falcons had three turnovers versus Kansas City that they turned into 13 points.
In the first quarter in their game against Denver they scored four more turnovers by intercepting Peyton Manning on the Broncos first three possessions of the game and on a fumble recovery. Atlanta turned the first two interceptions into 10 points and while turning the fumble into three points.
The first controversial call that affected Denver was a defensive interference pass that occurred on a tip passed. Head coach John Fox challenged the call, and it was determined that the tip of the pass came before the interference, however, it cost Denver their first challenge.
The second call that affected came on a fumble by running back Knowshon Moreno, that would turn out to be Denver’s fourth turnover. The controversy came when the ball was first awarded to Atlanta, and that call stood even though Denver seemingly came out of the pile with the ball.
The third play was an extremely bad call against Denver’s defense for pass interference on second down which gave Atlanta a first down and eventually led to a Atlanta touchdown.
When it comes to penalties Denver was penalized 10 times for 96 yards.
Despite all these obstacles, Denver scored 14 points in the fourth quarter making the game 27-21, but in the end Atlanta held off Denver to win the game, 27-21.
San Diego is on top of the AFC West with a 2-0 record however they have only played against Oakland and Tennessee. Fans will get to see if San Diego is the real deal when they matchup with Atlanta in week three. Denver will have another tough matchup next week as they will face the 2-0 Houston Texans. Kansas City and Oakland will still be looking to get their first wins in week three, with Kansas City going up against the win-less New Orleans Saints, while Oakland will face Pittsburgh.