Final Word: AFC West

Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 10:

Chiefs return to happy place: The Kansas City Chiefs are enjoying a revival in 2010. They are 5-3 at the midway point and are leading the AFC West by a half game heading into their game at Denver on Sunday. Some in the Kansas City organization believe the Chiefs’ turnaround started in Denver in the final game of last season when the Chiefs hammered the Broncos, 44-24. Denver was still in the playoff hunt at the time. Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles had 259 yards as the Chiefs showed they could be a team to reckon with in 2010.

Can McDaniels beat an AFC West team at home? Second-year Denver coach Josh McDaniels is feeling the heat. The Broncos, 2-6, are 4-14 since the Broncos started 6-0 under McDaniels last season. What is also alarming is Denver is 0-4 against AFC West opponents at home under McDaniels, including a 59-14 loss to Oakland. If the Chiefs knock around the Broncos on Sunday, McDaniels will be hearing even more boos than he did after the Oakland debacle.

Battle of the Colquitts: During training camp, as he was vying to become Denver’s punter, Britton Colquitt said he was looking forward to the opportunity to play the Chiefs. Kansas City’s punter is his older brother, Dustin Colquitt. The brothers are sons of former NFL punter Craig Colquitt. Britton Colquitt said it was his father’s dream to have his sons punt on the same NFL field. Sunday, it will become true.

Can the Broncos score early? One of the Broncos’ biggest problems in 2010 is that they have started slowly and fallen behind quickly. Denver has scored just seven points in the first quarter this season. The key to winning in the NFL is to start fast. Denver has not been able to overcome their slow starts. If the Broncos are going to upset the Chiefs, they need to strike fast.

The return of Eddie Royal: One of the bright spots for Denver this season is the play of third-season receiver Royal. He flourished as a rookie under Denver coach Mike Shanahan in 2008. He had 91 catches. Yet, in 2009 Royal didn’t fit well in McDaniels’ offense. He had just 37 catches for 345 yards. Through eight games this season, Royal has 38 catches for 427 yards. Denver has a lot of problems, but it is a good sign that Royal is a productive player again.