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Early AFC West Week 8 Preview

Last week the AFC West had their standings shaken up a bit with the Denver Broncos taking an upset loss to the Indianapolis Colts.  Will this be the week that the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs also lose their perfect record?  Will the Broncos bounce back from their loss?  Here is a preview of the AFC West Division Week 8.

Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs


Many are quick to point out that the Kansas City Chiefs remain undefeated thanks to an easy schedule, which is a fair point to make.  Among the Chiefs toughest opponents over the last few weeks are the Tennessee Titans and the Houston Texans, both of which have losing records at the moment.  In fact, the Chiefs will not have a bonafide tough opponent until after their Week 10 bye week, at which point they will play the Denver Broncos in a Week 11 showdown.  However, that does not mean they cannot be upset between now and then, and the Browns may be the team to do it.

On paper these teams are very similar.  Each have a mediocre overall offense, with the Chiefs only bright offensive spot being in the rushing game and both teams have a great defense.  The Browns defense rank seventh in the NFL, while the Chiefs ranks fifth. If the Browns defense can stop-up the Chiefs run game we could have a ball game.  However, the Browns will be starting a new QB this week in Jason Campbell and the Chiefs have the highest turnover ratio in the NFL, which could mean the Chiefs defense will eat up the inexperienced and come away with a win thank to turnovers.

The Chiefs opening odds put them as the seven point favorites to win this game.  The game starts at 1 p.m. ET.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Oakland Raiders 


Both these teams sit at 2-4 on the season and both are viewed as being poor teams overall.  However, each team has their moments.  For the Steelers it is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ability to extend plays and lobbed accurately deep down the field.  For the Raiders it is their tremendous rushing attack that ranks ninth in the NFL overall.  As strange as it sounds these stats may mean nothing.

Traditional when these two historically hard-hitting teams clash it is a game defined by some nasty, hard-hitting defensive play regardless of the stats or team records.  In 2012 when these two teams meant it was ugly with the Raiders Heyward-Bey getting knocked out in the fourth quarter. I expect a similarly hard-hitting game as both these teams attempt to protect what is left of their defensive legacy.

The Steelers are the slight favorites to win this one according to the opening odds (-1.5 point spread).  The game starts at 4:05 p.m. ET.

Washington Redskins @ Denver Broncos


Whether or not the Washington Redskins are able to add another loss to the Broncos record depends upon which Redskins team shows up at Mile High Field.  If the fourth best offense in the league overall, fourth in rushing and seventh in passing, the Redskins can continue to tarnish the Broncos once perfect record.  However, if the Redskins team that shows up is the one that makes inexcusable mistakes that cost them the game then the Broncos will make a speedy recover from their loss to the Colts.

Neither one of these teams have a very good defense.  Peyton Manning has hoisted this team on his back and has been carrying them to greatness.  However, if RGIII, Jordan Reed and their rush offense show up on Sunday the Redskins could win this game in a high-scoring affair.  However, if the Redskins drop balls and RGIII makes sloppy throws and you allow one of the worst defenses in the NFL to hand the game back over to the best quarterback playing the game, it will be a long night for the Redskins

The Broncos are a huge 13 point favorite to win this game.  The game starts at 4:25 p.m. ET.

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