Around The AFC West: The division race is heating up

Dec 2 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos fan holds a sign in reference to the team clinching the AFC West following the win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Sports Authority Field. The Broncos defeated the Buccaneers 31-23. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Texans and Denver Broncos wrapped up Week 7 on Monday Night Football, but this wasn’t your normal out-of-division matchup. This meant more. This was a rematch, a rematch with Brock Osweiler … the Broncos’ ex.

We’ve all been there, running into an ex. It goes one of two ways: either you walk away saying to yourself, “Boy, did I avoid a nightmare there,” or you’re the nightmare and don’t realize it by saying, “I wonder what ever happened to us?”

Well, Brock, you’re the ex Denver avoided, and we feel great about it.

Don’t get it twisted, though, he still did the right thing. Just ask his bank account and his wife, their future kids, their kids’ kids and their kids’ kids’ kids — you get the point.

The narrative coming into the game was all about the rematch, and Denver’s defense saying things like “we want to kill him” only made it more so. Of course, they didn’t kill him, but mostly because Brock Osweiler did the dirty work himself.

Denver led 14-6 at halftime and was beginning to move the ball downfield with ease against the Texans defense. The running game was working, and the Broncos touchdown in the third quarter, which gave them a 21-9 lead, was the first third quarter touchdown of the season for Denver.

It was also Booker’s first NFL touchdown, so congrats young fella!

There’s still a lot of work to do. I’m not sure Trevor Siemian is who we hoped he would be, nor am I sure Paxton Lynch will be ready anytime soon. In fact, I don’t look at it as Siemian outplayed Brock but that Kubiak and company coached circles around Bill O’Brien and his staff.

Good news is the running game looked improved with Devontae Booker getting more involved in the mix. Run the football, don’t turn the ball over, play good defense and you will be successful.

Now, a look at the rest of the AFC West:

San Diego Chargers

Let’s start with the Chargers, a team that Denver will play for the second time in three weeks this coming Sunday.

They found themselves in a game with the league’s highest-scoring offense in the Atlanta Falcons, and somehow they actually had the ball in the red zone with less than a minute to go down three and (you’re not going to believe this) didn’t blow the game.

Instead, they forced overtime and found a way to get the win. So, for all of us visor haters — I’m foremost amongst them — we have to see Mike McCoy and that ridiculous “hat” for another few weeks.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs continue to improve week in and week out, as they earned their fourth win of the year with a 27-21 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

If the Chiefs get things rolling, the November 27 matchup between Denver and Kansas City could be very interesting. The Chiefs could be on a nice little streak, too. They have now won two in a row and have very winnable games in the next month. They will visit the Colts, host the Jaguars, visit the Panthers and then host the Buccaneers before coming to Denver.

I’m not saying they’ll win them all, but with the team being relatively healthy for the first time this season, they might just be getting going.

Oakland Raiders

And last but certainly not least, the Oakland Raiders won their fourth straight road game on Sunday, beating the Jacksonville Jaguars 33-16.

Oakland continues to look good and get better every week, but a closer look at their schedule may cause you to pump the brakes just a bit.

At least I know it made me.

They haven’t beat a single team with a winning record. The two losses came from teams with winning records, the Chiefs and Falcon. With wins over the Saints, Titans, Ravens, Chargers and now Jaguars, I want to see the Raiders tested.

Good thing they make the trip to the Mile High City in less than two weeks!

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