Around The AFC West – 11/28

It’s all very typical for the San Diego Chargers. Start poorly then come on strong in the second half of the season.

The Chargers are doing it again, as they won their fourth straight by bashing the Colts in Indianapolis 36-14.

“At 2-5, a lot of teams would have thrown in the towel,” said QB Philip Rivers. “We’ve got a group of resilient guys, tough guys that really play together and really believe in one another. We weren’t going to let this thing get away from us. Now, we’re right here in the hunt.”

They are that. After Sunday’s action, the Chiefs lead the AFC West with a 7-4 record. The Chargers are 6-5 after their victory. Oakland is 5-6 after getting beaten badly by Miami 33-17. Denver is coming to Arrowhead Stadium this coming Sunday after losing to St. Louis 36-33 and the Broncos are now 3-8 and out of it in the division.

Here’s how the day went down for the Chargers, Raiders and Broncos.

Chargers 36, Colts 14 @ Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis

The Lightning Bolts have become the biggest pain in the butt for Colts QB Peyton Manning and that continued in the Sunday night game. San Diego forced five turnovers, including four interceptions of Manning, two that were returned for touchdowns.

San Diego’s defense allowed the Colts just 24 rushing yards, sacked Manning twice and got four interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Offensively RB Mike Tolbert ran for 103 yards on 26 carries with a three-yard TD run. Rivers was 19 of 23 for 185 yards with no touchdowns and most importantly for San Diego, no interceptions. “I think all of our guys understand now that you’ve got to protect the ball,” Chargers coach Norv Turner said. “You’ve got to be sound in the kicking game and we can’t give up big plays on defense.”

This coming Sunday, the Chargers host Oakland in the first of three straight home games.

Dolphins 33, Raiders 17 @ Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Things started out so well for Oakland. Just as he did against the Chiefs, rookie Jacoby Ford dented the Miami special teams with a 101-yard kickoff return to start the game.

From there it was all downhill for the Raiders, who struggled to stop the Dolphins offense and could not get anything going offensively behind QB Bruce Gradkowski. He was back in the starting lineup after Jason Campbell played so poorly in Pittsburgh last week.

But Gradkowski threw two interceptions and suffered a reinjured right shoulder on the last play of the day. Oakland had just 16 rushing yards, and Darren McFadden finished with eight carries for two yards. Miami picked up 471 yards on offense, including nearly 42 minutes in time of possession.

Rams 36, Broncos 33 @ Invesco Field

It was not a good weekend for the Broncos. On Friday they found out that the team and head coach Josh McDaniels were fined $50,000 apiece for a case involving the illict taping of a San Francisco 49ers practice during Denver’s trip to London. Then, they came out and fell to the Rams on the best performance of rookie QB Sam Bradford’s young career.

“There wasn’t one bit of distraction,” QB Kyle Orton said of the controversy. “We had one team meeting over it and it was pretty much over after three minutes. There’s stuff that happens throughout an entire NFL season and as pros and as men you worry about your own business.”

Veteran CB Champ Bailey said he felt bad for owner Pat Bowlen. DL Justin Bannan said he felt bad for McDaniels.

“Josh didn’t do anything wrong,” Bannan said. “Josh is a great coach and we’ve got his back and he’s got ours. Obviously, things are tough right now, but what are you going to do? What we’re going to do is come out and play better football.”

They were unable to slow down Bradford, who finished with 22 of 37 for 308 yards, three TDs and no interceptions. He drove the Rams on three straight touchdown drives and two more than ended in field goals after the Broncos took a 10-0 lead

The Broncos are 5-16 since their 6-0 start last year. It’s the worst 21-game stretch in four decades.

One Response to “Around The AFC West – 11/28”

  • November 29, 2010  - Niblick says:

    It looks like the division title and playoff hopes will come down to the Chargers game. If they run the table and get to 11-5 and we go 4-1 and get to 11-5, they would win the tiebreaker. We have to beat them to have the first tie breaker. That Oakland loss may come back to haunt us. I’m still hoping they faulter along the way and we win 4 of 5. I’m still impressed with this road win. Let’s take care of the Broncos this week.

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