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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
AFC West Rivals at the Midpoint
With all three of the San Diego Chargers AFC West rivals winning on Sunday, here is where the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders stack up at the midpoint of the season.
Denver Broncos (7-1)
After falling last week to the Indianapolis Colts, the Denver Broncos defeated the Washington Redskins 45-21. They set a franchise record for points in the fourth quarter with 31. Overall, they have 343 points, averaging 42.8 per game, which is the most through eight weeks in NFL history. Peyton Manning continues to light up the league, completing 237 of 333 passes for 2,919 yards and 29 touchdowns. One of his favorite targets has been Wes Welker, who leads the NFL in touchdown catches. Defensively, Denver has been struggling, entering Week 8 ranked 30th in total defense by allowing 397.0 yards per game. They actually ranked first against the run (77.1 ypg), but were last in the league against the pass, allowing 319.9 ypg. The Broncos have a bye in Week 9, and then return to action by paying a visit to Qualcomm Stadium to take on the Bolts. There next three games after that are against the Chiefs at home before heading on the road for back to back games against the New England Patriots and Chiefs.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-0)
While many expected the Chiefs to be greatly improved from their 2-14 record in 2012, few would have expected they’d be the NFL’s lone undefeated team eight weeks into the season. They have been buoyed by a standout defense that leads the league in sacks (42) by a hefty margin. Entering Week 8, they led the league in points against as well, surrendering just 12.2 points per game. Meanwhile, Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles have spearheaded the offense. The most damage has come on the ground in the form of Charles. He’s run for 635 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Charles has been equally lethal in the passing game, catching 41 balls for 383 yards and a pair of TDs. The Chiefs now will travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills. Following a bye, they visit Denver before hosting the Chargers and Broncos.
Oakland Raiders (3-4)
Terrelle Pryor has been electrifying for the Raiders. Never was that more evident than on the first play from scrimmage in Oakland’s 21-18 win on Sunday over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Keeping the ball on the read option, Pryor ran 93 yards for a touchdown. The score marked the longest run for a touchdown by a quarterback in NFL history. Overall this season, Pryor has completed 99 of 157 passes (63.1%) for 1,149 yards and five touchdowns. He’s also rushed 53 times for 391 yards and a touchdown, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. They remain at home next week to host the Philadelphia Eagles before a pair of road games against the New York Giants and Houston Texans. They’ll return home to face the Tennessee Titans to set up the final four games of the year.