Going into Week 10 of the NFL season, the AFC West has a tie atop the standings with three teams at 4-4. All the teams in the division will face a fellow AFC West team this week, as the Raiders and Chargers square off Thursday night and the Chiefs battle Tim Tebow and the Broncos on Sunday. Here's a quick look at each game.
Raiders @ Chargers: With Oakland coming off a crushing defeat at the hands of the Broncos last Sunday, the Chargers look to take advantage of the Raiders' shortcomings on defense and the absence of Darren McFadden. Oakland has not been the same team without McFadden and they have lately been susceptible to lapses in coverage and giving up long runs. On the plus side, Carson Palmer has looked very good and has turned an already immensely talented receiver group into a true threat.
On San Diego's side of the ball, they need Philip Rivers to cut down on his mistakes. He has put up good numbers this year despite not playing particularly well. Ryan Mathews is healthy and expected to play, but it remains to be seen how the workload will be split between he and Mike Tolbert. Vincent Jackson is playing at a very high level right now and racking up touchdowns. I think this may be a shootout, but I'm picking the Chargers by nine points.
Broncos @ Chiefs: This is the week we may see what Tim Tebow is really made of. He struggled against a stout defense vs. Detroit, and he shined against a mediocre defense vs. Oakland. The Chiefs have been solid defensively of late until last week when they were embarrassed by the Dolphins. Can Tim Tebow learn from Matt Moore's success and pick apart the Chiefs as he did? He may be able to, but the game will be in the hands of the Bronco defense. They were able to intercept Carson Palmer three times last week and will have to perform at a similar level against Matt Cassel for the Broncos to overcome.
The Chiefs appear to be a superior team to the Broncos, but Oakland was too and we all saw how that turned out. The Chiefs had an embarrassing loss at home last week and will look to bounce back. However, I'm not certain it will be so easy against a team like the Broncos who run a somewhat unconventional offense. I think Tebow will shine this week. Broncos by three.