AFC Notes: Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders


Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater admitted he did not put a lot of effort into trying to tackle Eagles CB Darius Slay on the fumble return touchdown that busted the game wide open.

“I just tried to force the ball back (to the middle of the field,)” Bridgewater said, via Mark Kiszla. “When you sit in a team meeting and watch Coach put up plays throughout the league and two-minute situations and different things, our defense has guys running toward the sideline. We always say: ‘The sideline is your friend.’ I tried to force the ball back. That’s all I tried to do right there.”

  • Broncos HC Vic Fangio said the team is still sticking with Bridgewater: “Teddy is our quarterback moving forward.” (Troy Renck)
  • Broncos DL Dre’Mont Jones was very blunt when asked about his team’s struggles against stopping the run: “Combination of us not executing and coaching.” (Mike Klis)
  • Jones clarified on Twitter later on: “Vic Fangio is a damn good head coach and should be respected as such. OUR seventeen-point deficit against Philadelphia was on ALL OF US. WE ALL have to take accountability in order to become a better team. NO ONE is solely the blame for US not getting the job done yesterday evening against the Eagles.” 


Chargers OC Joe Lombardi believes that the sky is the limit with QB Justin Herbert running the offense and acknowledged they have room to expand the passing game, which has been perhaps too focused on moving it underneath instead of looking for shot plays.

“We just have to continue to expand our imagination and know that those things are possible with this guy,” Lombardi said, via Daniel Popper of The Athletic. “Not every team can have their quarterback do it. We just have to keep using that arm as a weapon, as it is. He’s so efficient throwing underneath. You saw it on Sunday (against Philly), where his completion percentage was so high. There is a comfort level knowing that when I call one of those plays, there’s a 90 percent chance that we’re getting 6 or 7 yards. It’s an extension of the run game because of the efficiency. That can cause you to play it safe sometimes. Just always seeing which shot play is applicable on each drive, I think, is important to keep doing.”


Time will tell if Sunday night is the game that really busted Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes‘ slump. But in a season that’s been frustrating, to say the least, Mahomes took things out on a familiar punching bag, the Raiders defense. He finished the game with over 400 yards in the air and five passing touchdowns. 

“I thought he was just so disciplined in how he handled everything,” Chiefs HC Andy Reid said via the Athletic’s Nate Taylor. “(Statistical analysis coordinator Mike Frazier) does a million different studies for us, and Pat lasted longer than any quarterback in the history of the game without a slump. It’s going to happen. It’s important that you power through it, stay confident and keep firing. That’s how (Mahomes) is wired. You knew he was going to get through the ups and downs.”


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