Last week, Tim Tebow was the worst quarterback ever according to some. I found that laughable, not because I think he is a good quarterback at this point, but because it is just one more case of the most recent being the worst. I know the guy’s throwing motion is ugly, but there have been a lot of really bad quarterbacks in this league, and most cannot run the ball and pick up first downs with their feet like he does. Last week, the Broncos were one of the worst teams, blown off the field by Detroit.
A week later, and everyone in the AFC West but Denver lost, as the Broncos went to Oakland and allowed the Raiders to implode for a second consecutive home division game. The Chiefs showed how fraudulent their recent run was, as they were blown off the field at home by the winless Dolphins. The Chargers? They should be the most talented team in the division and should frankly have put this away. They lost a game against Green Bay that they could have won, with Philip Rivers throwing two interceptions for touchdowns.
The AFC West now has three 4-4 teams, the Broncos at 3-5, and they are 2-1 in the last three with Tebow at quarterback. None of the teams has scored more points than they have allowed this season. The Chiefs, after the 31-3 debacle against Miami, have now been outscored by 70 points on the year, while playing a well below average schedule so far. The Raiders have traded for Carson Palmer and don’t seem to know what they are doing right now. The Broncos have their defensive issues, and Tebow is wildly inconsistent. The Chargers? They’ve got the Norv Turner face working in full effect.
Can Tim Tebow, so recently written off as of a week ago, actually get the Broncos in the playoffs in a horrible AFC West? He made improvements in this game after holding the ball too long. He was only sacked twice, and considering that he ran it 12 times to avoid sacks in addition to 21 passes, that is a massive change from last week. The defense had a lot of work to do, but at least has some young playmakers. This is the first year with John Fox. I don’t think it’s likely, but I think they are in better shape than Kansas City. If Denver wins at Kansas City this week, far from an inconceivable scenario, they have a chance to win the division.
The Chiefs play Denver and then go on a five game stretch of New England, Pittsburgh, Chicago, the Jets, and Green Bay. They aren’t finishing with 8 wins, probably not 7 now. Oakland is as wild of a wildcard as possible. They need Darren McFadden back, and they need to go back to running the ball and limiting mistakes. San Diego should win this division, still, but games against Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, and still await. If they continue to lose those close matchups, someone else sneaks in.
Right now, it looks like 8-8 will win the division. A 7-9 record could duplicate the NFC West last year and at least be a possibility (unless San Diego wakes up). I don’t think that Denver is a playoff caliber team, but they can get to 7-9 if they sweep Kansas City starting this week.
The one thing I do know about the West, after last week. The winner will get to host a home game as the #4 seed, nobody else will sniff the playoffs, and it is yet another case showing why we shouldn’t give automatic home games to the winners of 4 team divisions.
[photo via Getty]