All world quarterback, Peyton Manning, added three more touchdowns to his resume, giving him 12 on the young season. In doing so, he guided the Broncos to their 14th straight regular season victory. Now can they run the table? Not likely because at some point this team, as all NFL teams do, will hit a rut for a week or two.
What's scary about their win was that they didn't appear to miss the loss of Pro Bowl Left Tackle, Ryan Clady. Back up, Chris Clark, did a solid job protecting Manning's backside and this game was basically over in the first quarter.
Much to the chagrin of Chiefs fans, the Broncos are still the class of the AFC West and if they do find a running game behind, Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball, they could become even more dangerous offensively.
However if there was a modest silver lining in the game Monday, the Raiders did score some points against the Broncos defense, who continues to play strong without starting linebacker, Von Miller (suspension) and cornerback, Champ Bailey (injury).
Next Up: vs. Philadelphia Eagles
2. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) - If we've learned anything from the Chiefs 3-0 start, KC's defense is pretty darn good. With linebacker, Justin Houston, leading the NFL with 7.5 sacks, its clear new defensive coordinator, Bob Sutton, has devised a way to utilize all of his Pro Bowl linebackers skills.
Houston hasn't done it by himself though. Defensive tackle, Dontari Poe and fellow linebacker Tamba Hali, appear hell bent on creating as much havoc as they can on their opponents.
This trio has been the pulse of KC's defense. But credit has to be given to the Chiefs secondary. Safety Eric Berry, who had a pick six against the Eagles, and cornerback Brandon Flowers, who should not have played Thursday night after suffering a knee injury four days earlier against the Dallas Cowboys, rose to the occasion in stopping Eagles quarterback, Michael Vick.
While the defense has been sharp the Chiefs offense is still misfiring. Though one can't be too critical of their effort this year because they've salted the last two games away by managing the clock to perfection in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback, Alex Smith, has yet to throw an interception. His passing efficiency is still among the best in the NFL. Further, based on the way the San Francisco 49ers offense has struggled without him at the helm this season, perhaps Smith is a far better quarterback than Chiefs fans believed when KC made the big trade last March.
Next up: vs. New York Giants
3. Oakland Raiders (1-2) - After three weeks of the NFL season, I'm still trying to understand how Quarterback, Terrell Pryor, manages to get it done. Not blessed with the most gifted arm or the best pocket awareness, he did manage to pass for 281 yards against Denver.
What's even more impressive is the fact he's basically doing it by himself. The Raiders running game is week to say the least. On Monday, Darren McFadden only managed nine yards on 12 carries.
If the Raiders find their running prowess again, Oakland is going to be a formidable opponent in the months of November and December in the AFC West.
Next up: vs. Washington Redskins
4. San Diego Chargers (1-2) - I do believe the Chargers are a better team than the Raiders but they sink to the bottom after their road loss at Tennessee on Sunday.
The Titans were down and out in this game but the Chargers defense, which will be their Achilles heal all season long, they could not prevent Quarterback, Jake Locker from throwing the game winner to receiver Justin Hunter with just a few seconds left on the clock.
Chargers Quarterback, Philip Rivers, was solid enough to earn the victory. But he couldn't break the 200-yard passing barrier against the improved Titans defense. Like the Raiders, the Chargers rushing offense has been weak. As a team they barely reached the century mark on the ground.
If the Chargers offense is going to score more points and take pressure off their defense, they need running back, Ryan Matthews has to start acting like a first round draft pick.
Next up: vs. Dallas Cowboys
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
The Chiefs are gaining ground on Broncos.
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