AFC West: Denver Looks to Take Top Seed In AFC
One week remains in the NFL regular season and the only uncertainty is what seed with the Denver Broncos have when the playoffs start January 5. Denver looked strong again on Sunday as they won their 10th consecutive game defeating the Cleveland Browns. Denver currently is holding down the no. 2 seed in the AFC, but can earn the top seed with a win this week and a Houston loss at Indianapolis.
On Sunday, Manning had 339 yards passing, his season high, and three touchdowns. The Broncos offensive line was superb as they held the Browns without a sack on the day. With their win Denver has become the hottest team in football alongside the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC.
The Broncos final game of the regular season is against arguably the worst team in all of football, the Kansas City Chiefs. With a win, the Broncos will clinch a bye in the first round. With a win and a loss by the Texans Denver will be the no. 1 seed.
The Chiefs will pressure the rush defense of Denver as they had 352 yards rushing on Sunday in their loss to Indianapolis. Jamaal Charles, who should get consideration for the Pro Bowl had 226 yards for the Chiefs on just 22 carries.
Manning continued to play at the level of an MVP with his three touchdowns. He connected with Demaryius Thomas for nine catches and 102 yards, with one going for a touchdown. Thomas should be chosen for the Pro Bowl after that effort and his fine games throughout the season.
Knowshon Moreno, who rushed for 238 yards in his last two games combined could not get on track Sunday and finished with just 78 yards on the day. However, he did rush well enough to keep the defense off balance.
Defensively Von Miller was able to continue his fine play and helped his chances of being named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Miller’s chances are good, but the favorite for the award has to be J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans. However, Miller had 1.5 sacks on the day and increased his season total to 17.5 setting a new record for the Denver franchise. On Sunday, the Broncos defense sacked the Browns on six occasions.
The rest of the AFC West just continues their downward spiral. Even though San Diego won 27-17, they could only manage 86 yards on the ground and have not scored a touchdown rushing the ball since week 5.
The Raiders lost to lowly Charlotte 17-6 and lost their starting quarterback Carson Palmer in the process. The rib injury Palmer suffered will probably keep him out of the last game of the season so his coaches can take another last look at Terrelle Pryor unless they decide to stay with Matt Leinart. Oakland still has not scored a touchdown since week 14. Last week in their 15-0 win over Kansas City, they had five field goals and in their loss Sunday added two field goals.