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AFC West at the halfway mark.

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  • AFC West at the halfway mark.

    So we're at the half point of the season. Let's take a look at how things are trending. I am going to stick with scoring for team stats because yardage is worthless. I will also point out some stats from some key players if I find it interesting.

    Denver

    1st Offense. 26th defense. Turnover margin: -1 Record: 7-1
    Peyton Manning: 71.2% completion 29 TD's 6 ints 8.7 yards per play. 6 fumbles (all lost).

    So half way into the season and Denver isn't doing to bad at 7-1. Their defense doesn't look great statistically - 26th best defense isn't going to help you much. But there is more going on here. First is that Denver hasn't been healthy on defense all year. Last game was the first time all three starting linebackers played together. Obviously they played better. The other problem comes from their turnover margin.

    Denver is only -1 in margin, but guess how many times they've turned over the ball? 17. Only two teams in the whole freaking league have given the ball away more - the Giants and the Cardinals. Those are bottom-feeders, people. That means the defense has been going crazy to create turnovers just to keep us at -1. Some of it is just bad luck. Like why is it every time Manning is sacked he fumbles? And why when he fumbles do we always lose the ball? I don't know, but when you consider half of these turnovers led to points, suddenly the defense doesn't look quite as crappy when you factor in the injuries.

    I'm sure TonyR will be here shortly to contest me and insist they are terrible across the board, but a lot of this is circumstantial. Before the Redskins game, I was prepared to tell everyone that the defense sucks and there is no way we are going to win a SB with the defense playing the way it has. And since the Clady injury, Manning has been getting roughed up. However seeing what we did to a very good offense with dynamic player in RGIII and offensive coach last game, I am more optimistic.

    John Fox teams have better records in the second half of the season. He's more a fundamentals guy and he gets big physical players that like to hit and that bodes well down the stretch of a season. It's a good thing too because the third month of the season is absolutely brutal for Denver. Chargers, Chiefs, @New England, @Chiefs. If we go 2-2, I'll consider it a victory. That would mean 9-3 going into the last four games. Then if the Chiefs are still ahead at least we'll be set up well for a wild card spot.

    This is a team that is one of the worst at turning the ball over and they are 7-1 with their lone loss on the road by a single digit. Turnovers can be cleaned up, which is a good thing, but they need to make it a priority. If they can stop giving the ball away, things will improve. If they cannot, they may still make the playoffs, but it will be an early postseason exit.

    Kansas City

    13th offense tied (sort of). 1st defense. Turnover margin: +12 Record: 8-0

    Alex Smith: 59% 9 TD's 4 ints 6.28 YPP (ranks 27th) 1 fumble.
    Justin Houston + Tampa Hali: 20 sacks
    Jamaal Charles: 194 touches

    The Chiefs look good when you don't know the backstory. Excellent defense and an apparently above average offense! Undefeated! SB bound, right?

    Well.... look closer. First of all that defense. They are very good, for sure. Poe, Houston and Charles put on a lot of pressure. But then you look at their schedule and they have lucked into some pretty advantageous situations. Almost every single QB they have faced they just happened to face the team's backup QB. And in cases where they didn't, the player was either not %100 (Romo had bad ribs) or was worse than the backup (Jacksonville's Gabbert). What's more interesting is how KC is barely beating some bad teams at home with these backup QB's. Houston almost won that game in KC with a guy that was playing in his first NFL game! The Browns fumbled a punt with no pressure! it's like God wants the Chiefs to win.

    So understanding all of that, one thing becomes clear. They have one of the best turnover margins in the league. "But their offense is top fifteen!" Chief fan says. Not really. A lot of their scoring is on defense, special teams and Charles. Their QB has put up 49 points all year. Manning did that in one, game.

    Alex Smith is hot garbage. He has one move - dump off the ball. Sometimes he'll look for Avery on third down, but basically he throws the check down every play. He's a crappy QB but he does one thing pretty well - he doesn't turn the ball over. KC has the third fewest giveaways in the NFL! Couple that with the fact that only Seattle has more takeaways, and they are basically playing perfect football every game and lucking into some incredibly easy matchups. Even the other teams want the Chiefs to win, with some untimely boneheaded moments by their opponents. It's just all going the Chiefs way.

    That would concern me if I were a Chief fan, honestly. How long can that last? If that ratio is even slightly off they lose at least two of their last games. Also consider that they are having some close calls with players. Jamaal Charles was taken off the field with a knee injury only to come back. He's on pace for 388 touches and that's not including when he stays in to block for their crap line and has to get hammered by blitzing linebackers and defensive linemen.

    I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it hasn't yet. Maybe it won't. Even if it does, they've won enough that they should be in the postseason. That said, they don't appear to be getting better. They have been doing slightly worse in recent weeks as teams are catching up to them. It feels like a team that is all smoke and mirrors. Time will tell.



    San Diego

    13th offense tied. 9th defense. Turnover margin: -6 Record: 4-3
    Phillip Rivers: 73.9% 15 TD's 5 ints 8.56 YPP no fumbles
    Eddie Royal - 6 TD's

    The Chargers are a great example of why Norv Turner sucks. McCoy has really changed the identity of that team. And while I still laugh at his weird play calling choices, he's been able to get Rivers to playing at a good level. There was a time after the first four weeks of the season that Rivers and Manning were pretty close statistically. He's come down a bit since, but he looks like Rivers of old.

    All their players are looking closer to what we thought they should be playing at. Rivers is up. Ryan Matthews looks like a decent back. Even Eddie freaking Royal has 6 TD's and made some big plays in big moments for the boltz. Their defense has tightened up some too. Corey Liuget is playing better.

    The Chargers aren't perfect, obviously. Their offensive line isn't great. And they have no playmakers AT ALL on defense. They have 4 takeaways all year. 4! We give the ball away more than four times in one game! They get to play us, so that will go up for them, but basically while the team looks better coached, there is a lack of talent that will be impossible to overcome before they are serious contenders. Still, with Rivers playing well, they are a team that can play with anybody.

    Oakland

    26th offense. 12th defense. Turnover margin: -1 Record: 3-4
    Amount of salary in dead money this year: 40%.

    I'm not going to spend too much time on the Raiders because they are so out of sorts. They are bleeding off a crap ton of cap from the Al Davis years, and trying to re-grow their group the right way. Dennis Allen is a decent coach, but I think he took the job to soon and sometimes it shows. I don't know if you want a real young guy to reboot a franchise. They are doing some things well. They have competitive game plans and they are penalized way less than they used be. Raider penalties used to be "their thing" and that's come down a bit. I could talk about Terrell Pryor and his 400 rushing yards or whatever but I am not going to because they aren't really relevant.

  • #2
    Shows Alex Smith is "safe" with only 4 INTs. Are teams playing up in the box like they did to Tebow? I can't imagine having a Tampa 2 with Safeties way back from the L.O.S.

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    • #3
      Nice writeup, Chris. Rep.

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      • #4
        2-2 the next 4 games is not ok. 3-1 is what we need to shoot for on being acceptable.

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        • #5
          Only nitpick. We're 24th in defense, not 26. I only keep an eye on this because I've got $500 riding on us finishing in the top 20 and the Monday morning emails back and forth with my buddies have been fun.

          http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorysta...1&d-447263-n=1

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          • #6
            Kaylor, you are giving the chefs way too much credit. Denver wins by 21 in Denver and 10 in KC.

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            • #7
              great write up!

              Chargers are being overlooked more than I think they ought to be. They are a 2 ULTIMATE COLLAPSES from 6-2...

              Going to be a good game in a week vs them I would say.

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              • #8
                KC 2013 is a lot like the Denver Tebows 2011. Defense playing very well. QB not turning the ball over. And GOD DECREEING FROM THE HEAVENS THAT THE OTHER TEAM SHALL HAND THEM THE GAME!!! Alex Smith and or Andy Reid must have prayed a whole lot in training camp.

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                • #9
                  good stuff, thanks Kaylor! I still think that SD is the second best team in the AFCW and that kc is much better but still #3. If Jamaal Charles goes down with an injury then kc is in a lot of trouble. The Broncos should put a spy on Charles and force Smiff to beat them with his arm.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Beantown Bronco View Post
                    Only nitpick. We're 24th in defense, not 26. I only keep an eye on this because I've got $500 riding on us finishing in the top 20 and the Monday morning emails back and forth with my buddies have been fun.

                    http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorysta...1&d-447263-n=1
                    Read again

                    Originally posted by Kaylore
                    I am going to stick with scoring for team stats because yardage is worthless.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Guess Who View Post
                      Kaylor, you are giving the chefs way too much credit. Denver wins by 21 in Denver and 10 in KC.
                      At KC in December is one of the toughest place to play - especially when they have a good defense.

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                      • #12
                        The turnovers are starting to annoy me
                        It doesn't really matter what we do now as long as it doesn't knock us out of the playoffs, but we had this issue last year

                        Manning is playing well, but he is making some really stupid decisions at times

                        Maybe we do need to run the ball more and run more max protect sets

                        Its nice to have the offense that can drop 45+ in any game, but we shouldn't have to rely on it all the time because the other team keeps scoring off our turnovers

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kaylore View Post
                          At KC in December is one of the toughest place to play - especially when they have a good defense.
                          Yeah it doesn't matter how bad they are, they play us tough in their house and it pisses me off.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kaylore View Post
                            Like why is it every time Manning is sacked he fumbles? And why when he fumbles do we always lose the ball? I don't know, but when you consider half of these turnovers led to points, suddenly the defense doesn't look quite as crappy when you factor in the injuries.
                            hahaha, agreed on all accounts

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kaylore View Post
                              Read again
                              Aren't we 28th?

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