(Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Following the Denver Broncos 35-24 second-half thumping of the San Diego Chargers, the AFC West remains winnable for all of the four teams in the division. The Broncos are in the best position, tied with San Diego at 3-3 and owning the best division record (2-0) while Kansas City has been all but eliminated from playoff contention with a 1-5 record.
The Chiefs have struggled with poor quarterback play and after Brady Quinn started and threw for 180 yards and two interceptions last week while Matt Cassel sat out with a concussion, Romeo Crennel was impressed enough to name Quinn the starter for the remainder of the season. No, really.
“I want (Quinn) to be the starting quarterback without having to look over his shoulder. There’s going to be no quick hook or anything like that,” Crennel said on Monday.
Meanwhile, Oakland is 2-4 and preparing to travel to Kansas City for a division showdown this weekend. Interestingly, the Raiders, who have run all over the Broncos in recent years, are averaging just 76.8 rushing yards per game, which is second-worst in the league. Oakland rushed for 56 yards when they faced Denver in Week 4 earlier in the season.
Denver’s biggest threat — or perhaps not so big of a threat — is San Diego, who are being investigating by the league for allegedly using a stickum-like substance during their loss to the Broncos last week. Norv Turner has denied the accusations. The Chargers will take on the Browns in Cleveland on Sunday.
While the Chiefs change quarterbacks, the Raiders look to improve their rushing attack, and the Chargers deny reports of cheating, the Broncos returned to the practice field on Monday in preparation for their Sunday Night Football showdown with the New Orleans Saints. Kickoff at Sports Authority Field @ Mile High is scheduled for 6:20 p.m. (MT).
The rest of the AFC West appears to be in shambles while the Broncos are coming out of their Bye Week with recognizable momentum. Going into November with a win over New Orleans would only solidify Denver’s grasp on the division.