In a surprising turn of events from week three, week four in the AFC West saw the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs trying to win two games in a row, while Denver and San Diego looked to bounce back from week three losses. This article looks at four things learned from this past weekend’s two AFC West divisional matchups.
Denver Does Have An Explosive Offense
After beating the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 31-19, expectations were high for both Peyton Manning and the Denver offense. In weeks two and three Denver’s offense failed to live up to those expectations turning the ball over six times and being outscored 58-46 and losing both games.
In week four against the Oakland Raiders, Manning and the Broncos reminded fans of the NFL why Denver went out and spent so much money signing Manning. Denver’s offense exploded against the Oakland Raiders, racking up 26 first downs, 503 total yards, converted 10 out of 16 third downs, while scoring 37 points.
Manning finished the game with 30 passes completions on 39 attempts, 338 passing yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and was never sacked. Running back Willis McGahee rushed for 112 yards on 19 carries, while scoring a rushing touchdown. In the passing game eight different Broncos had a pass reception, with Demaryius Thomas having five receptions and 103 yards and Erick Decker finished the game seven receptions, 79 yards, and receiving touchdown.
The question some will be asking is was Denver’s offense in week four for real or was Oakland’s defense just really bad? I guess the answer to that question will come next week when Denver travels to play the New England Patriots.
Oakland is Falling Asleep at the Wheel
After a great outing for the Oakland Raiders in week three that included getting the win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, in week four Oakland’s offense again was falling asleep at the wheel.
In the game against the Denver Broncos, Oakland’s offense had seven drives ending in punts and two ending in field goals. Oakland’s offense had only 12 first downs, was a pathetic one for 12 on third down conversions, and had only 237 total yards.
Quarterback Carson Palmer passed for 202 yards, however, he completed only 19 passes on 34 attempts, threw no touchdowns and was sacked three times. Running back Darren McFadden looked like he did in week one and two, gaining only 34 yards on 13 carries, while no one receiver gained over 75 yards.
The good news for Oakland fans is the Raiders will not be embarrassed next week, however that is only because next week is Oakland’s bye week. Oakland will have lots to figure out in their bye week and they better figure something out because their week six matchup is on the road against the AFC West slaying Atlanta Falcons.
Kansas City Needs to Bench Cassel
Things went from bad to worse for Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel in the Chiefs week four matchup with the San Diego Chargers. In the first three weeks of the season, Cassel had thrown four interceptions, lost three fumbles, has been sacked 11 times losing 57 yards, and has a completion percentage of 58.8.
In the game against the Chargers, Cassel threw for three interceptions, lost a fumble, was sacked twice losing 17 yards, and finished the game with a completion percentage of 57 percent. Along with that Jamaal Charles and Shaun Draughn turned the ball over three more times, for a total of six Kansas City turnovers against San Diego.
It seems simple but it needs to be said, teams cannot score points when they are consistently giving the ball to the other team. Benching Cassel will not solve all of Kansas City’s problems but it would cut down on some of the turnovers.
San Diego’s offense did well but not great in their 37-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Quarterback Phillip Rivers was sacked three times costing the Chargers twenty yards, and also threw an interception, while only passing for 209 yards and one touchdown.
Running back Ryan Matthews only averaged 4.4 yards a carry, rushing for 61 yards on 14 carries while Jackie Battle managed only 2.6 yards a carry gaining only 39 yards on 15 carries, however, he did score San Diego’s only rushing touchdown.
Lastly the receiving corps could have done better as no receiver for San Diego had over 60 receiving yards with only Battle having more than three receptions.
San Diego’s offense needs to shape up if they are going to win games or else they will continually get beat up against better teams like in their game against the Atlanta Falcons.