AFC West Recap, Week 9

The dominos fell as well as they possibly could in the AFC West Sunday. The Chargers won and the division-leading Chiefs lost, creating a crowd near the top of the standings. Now, San Diego needs the division doormat to step up in Week 10.

Kansas City Chiefs (5-3) / Oakland Raiders (5-4)

Sunday's clash was a vigorous fight for division claims resulting in a 23-30 Raiders win in overtime, putting them within a half game of the Chiefs for first place.

Say it with me … JACOBY FORD. The Raiders' rookie receiver was the ray of light in the Black Hole. Ford had four kick returns, six catches and a TD, totaling more than 300 all-purpose yards. Ford was Tom Cable's saving grace, with one catch to induce OT and a 47-yard completion to set up Sebastian Janikowski for the game-winner.

The only real regrets the Raiders may have were an interception by QB Jason Campbell and a Darren McFadden fumble. Both players redeemed themselves, though, as Campbell went 19-of-33 with one TD and McFadden carried 17 times for 89 yards.

The Raiders will join the Chargers on bye this week. The time off will allow them a chance to regroup a plan for a tough game ahead, a Week 11 road contest against the 6-2 Pittsburgh Steelers.

As for the AFC West leaders, their league-leading rushing attack was held mostly in check, as Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones combined to carry 29 times for just 85 yards. Matt Cassel picked up the slack by completing 20-of-35 passes for 216 yards, two scores and one INT, but his Chiefs still struggled to put points on the board; Kansas City has been held to 20 points or less in three of its last five games.

The Chiefs' offense should have done more, seeing as it was given three extra possessions by an opportunistic defense. But the Raiders' No. 26 defense tightened up and made just enough plays to produce Oakland's first three-game winning streak since 2002.

The Chiefs will look to redeem themselves with another divisional tilt this week as they go on the road to take on the Denver Broncos. Denver should be well rested coming off a bye week, but it will be an upset if the Broncos pull out their third win.

Denver Broncos (2-6)

Four consecutive losses and a bye week leave Denver with no choice but to win its match-up against Kansas City, which will be easier said than done. Denver's No. 32 rushing attack and No. 31 run defense will need to step up if the Broncos are to have any chance of turning their season around.



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