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AFC West: Denver leads in most offensive categories

The halfway point of the NFL season has been reached and just two games separate the three top teams in the AFC West. Denver reached the midpoint in the season in first place in the division with a 5-3 record. They are 2-0 in the division, have won three consecutive games overall and are 4-1 in their last five games.

The San Diego Chargers are in second place at 4-4, have a 3-1 division record and are 2-3 in their past five games. Oakland is 3-5 overall, is 1-2 in the division and are 2-3 in their last five games. Kansas City is 1-7, 0-3 in the division and losers of five consecutive.

Thus far, the offense has ruled the play in the AFC West, with the two top teams sporting powerful offensive attacks. If awards were to be presented to the best offensive players at the midway point of the season, the following players would take home prizes.

At quarterback, Peyton Manning has proved all of his doubters wrong and has paid loads of dividends for the Denver Broncos after just eight games. He does not seem like he missed an entire season and at this point is the first or second pick of most for MVP.

Even though the Kansas City Chiefs are dead last in the division, the top running back in the AFC West is definitely Jamaal Charles. He is averaging nearly five yards a carry and has returned from last season’s knee injury without any problems.

Thanks to Manning, one of the two best wide receivers thus far this season in the AFC West is Demaryius Thomas. In this, his third season he has stepped up and taken control of the wide receivers. He has 39 catches for 680 yards, with four going for touchdowns and that is in an attack where Manning loves to distribute the ball to a number of receivers.

The best tight end thus far in the AFC West has to be Antonio Gates from San Diego. The veteran tight end has three touchdown receptions in his last three games and is averaging nearly 12 yards a catch.

Denver’s entire offensive line, with maybe the exception of the center has played better than any other has in the AFC West. Left tackle Ryan Clady has protected the blindside of Manning exceptionally well the first eight games. Zane Beadles the Denver left guard is one of the reasons why the Denver rushing attack is much improved up the middle with running back Willis McGahee being the beneficiary.

On the right side, the Broncos also rule with Chris Kuper at right guard and Orlando Franklin at right tackle. Both have protected Manning well and help immensely with the running attack.

It is not surprising that the list of top offensive players thus far in the season is dominated by Denver. Thanks to the return of Peyton Manning from neck surgery, the Broncos lead the division and should be even more successful in the second half of the season.

The Bronco schedule is listed as one of the toughest in football, but many of the tough games against high quality teams are behind them. At the halfway point, Denver is third in the league in total yards per game on offense at 399.5 per game, fourth in passing yards at 292 per game, fourth in scoring at over 29 per game and 17th in rushing at 107 per game.

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