NFL 2013: AFC West Midseason Report Card

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Every team in the National Football League has now played at least eight games this season.

Hence let's take a look at each club in the NFL and how they've performed at the halfway point (or slightly more in some instances.

We'll take some time this week to see what each team has done well this season, what improvement(s) need to be made and assign a grade to each club based on performance and combined with expectations. And to make things easy, we will do it on a divisional basis.

Five divisions down; the AFC East, AFC North, NFC South, NFC West and AFC South. So let's evaluate the AFC West.

And feel free to give out your own grade(s) as well…

Kansas City Chiefs (9-0)

Nice Work: A lot of positives among one of the great one-season turnarounds you will ever see. A year ago, the Chiefs won two games and gave up more than twice as many points (425) than they scored (211). During their undefeated start of 2013, Andy Reid's club has outscored the opposition by more than 100 points (215-111) and held every opponent to 17 points or less…

Needs Work: The lack of explosive plays and the offense's inability to consistently reach the end zone is certainly a concern, especially when Reid's team gets ready to deal with division rivals such as the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers. All told, the Chiefs have produced just three rushing plays of 20-plus yards in nine games this season and quarterback Alex Smith has two of those runs…

Grade: A

Denver Broncos (7-1)

Nice Work: The numbers are astounding both team wise and individually. Denver has scored 343 points and quarterback Peyton Manning has already thrown 29 touchdown passes in just eight games. Wide receiver Wes Welker is still…Wes Welker. Wideouts Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas have picked up where they left off last season and emerging tight end Julius Thomas has been a marvel to watch…

Needs Work: Denver has allowed at least 20 points in seven of their eight outings this season and gave up 19 points in the other. Two-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Von Miller has played in the last two games after serving a six-game suspension and we'll see if the pass rush (22 sacks) improves as time wears on. But those outings against the Dallas Cowboys (48) and Indianapolis Colts (39), in which the Broncos allowed a combined 87 points, remain a bit of a head-scratcher…

Grade: A-

San Diego Chargers (4-4)

Nice Work: Quarterback Philip Rivers has a different look to him this season, although he will come up with the occasional lemon. Still, the former Pro Bowl quarterback leads the NFL in completion percentage (72.2) and has thrown more than twice as many touchdown passes (17) as interceptions (7). Even more impressive is the fact that Rivers has yet to fumble this season, a problem in recent years…

Needs Work: Consistency has been this team's biggest issue to date. Early in the season, the Bolts played their share of nail-biters and dropped two of their first three games but responded since then with wins over the first-place Dallas Cowboys and Indianapolis Colts. But they've also lost to the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins and committed a combined seven turnovers in those setbacks…

Grade: B-

Oakland Raiders (3-5)

Nice Work: The Raiders traded for quarterback Matt Flynn this off-season and dealt veteran Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals. They also drafted Arkansas' Tyler Wilson in the fourth round in April. But former supplemental draft choice Terrelle Pryor wound up with the job and has surprised many with his steady play. While the former Ohio State product has thrown more interceptions (9) than scoring passes (5), he leads the team with 458 yards rushing and has completed 61.1 percent of his throws…

Needs Work: It would be easy to jump all over the Oakland defense after they allowed Philadelphia Eagles' second-year quarterback Nick Foles to throw seven touchdown passes last Sunday. But this is a veteran unit that has had its ups and downs this season, most notably a secondary that has been called upon to do a lot of different things, including rushing the passer. But as we know, Oakland wasn't built in a day…

Grade: C

Russell S. Baxter has been covering the NFL for 30-plus years on all platforms. He is the founder of ProFootballGuru.com, writes for numerous websites and publications across the country and is blessed with an encyclopedic memory. Ready to talk NFL? Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

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