AFC West third-quarter recap

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here is a look at the past four games in the AFC West, including awards and key moments:

MVP: Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos. Cutler led Denver to a 3-1 record and was outstanding in big road wins in Atlanta and against the New York Jets.

Offensive player of the quarter: Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City Chiefs. Gonzalez has been outstanding since the trade deadline passed in mid-October. Gonzalez said he would stay focused the rest of the season despite not being traded, and he kept his word. He has 33 catches and three touchdowns in the past four games.

Defensive player of the quarter: Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders. Asomugha continues to be shunned by opposing quarterbacks. He is the best defender in the division.

Offensive rookie of the quarter: Ryan Clady, Denver Broncos. Clady didn't allow a sack in the last quarter and he has allowed just half a sack this season. He is playing as well as any left tackle in the NFL.

Defensive rookie of the quarter: Wesley Woodyard, Denver Broncos. The undrafted rookie stepped in for the injured D.J. Williams, who was having a Pro Bowl season. Woodyard is a very instinctual playmaker. When Williams returns in a week or so, the Broncos will have to find a way to keep Woodyard on the field.

Coach of the quarter: Mike Shanahan, Denver Broncos. Despite having 12 players on injured reserve and starting seven rookies, Shanahan has his team atop of the AFC West. He is doing nice work.

Story of the quarter: San Diego owner Dean Spanos and general manager A.J. Smith said two weeks ago that coach Norv Turner will return for the 2009 season. The Chargers have lost both games since the proclamation and five of the past six games. San Diego is on the brink of being eliminated from division contention. Fans in San Diego are up in arms over the Turner announcement.

Biggest surprise of the quarter: Oakland beat Denver 31-10 in Denver on Nov. 23. The Raiders scored three touchdowns in the second half after going 44 offensive drives without a score.

Worst moment of the quarter: Raiders interim coach Tom Cable tried a fake field goal against Kansas City on Sunday. The play was designed for slow-footed kicker Sebastian Janikowski to run with the ball. The play was blown up and Kansas City scored. The Chiefs ended up winning by a touchdown. All the good that Cable built with the win at Denver was erased with that call.