Around The AFC West: The division race is as exciting as ever

Dec 2 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos fan holds a sign in reference to the team clinching the AFC West following the win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Sports Authority Field. The Broncos defeated the Buccaneers 31-23. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Just like that, the latter part of the NFL season is upon us.

Where did it all go? Oh yeah, that’s right, no one was watching the first eight weeks of the season anyway, so no harm no foul, right?

Well, the election is over, the country can now stop pretending they know what an entire nation needs and we can go back to arguing about the important stuff: who to start at the flex spot and whether or not the wide receiver actually had possession of that ball.

This NFL season has been yet another great one — the rise of Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot’s emergence, the Raiders’ resurgence, and Tom Brady still being, well, Tom Brady. But as I have done every week with this article, I am going to focus on the AFC West, otherwise known as the best division in football.

Let’s break it down:

San Diego Chargers

Both the Broncos and the Chargers had their bye this week, and since they are sitting in last place, let’s start with the San Diego Chargers.

Currently 4-6 and on the outside of the playoffs looking in, the Chargers have an uphill climb ahead of them, but it’s possible, something I wouldn’t have wrote a handful of weeks ago.

The Chargers team that showed up to get wins over the Broncos, Falcons and Titans can make a push to the postseason, while the Chargers team that lost to the Colts and Dolphins will find them living at the bottom of the AFC West.

Which Chargers team shows up for the remaining six games? That we have to wait and see, but if I were a betting man, I’d bet they finish 8-8, miss the playoffs and then (finally) Mike McCoy gets canned.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday and were handed their first home loss of the year, falling to 7-3. The Chiefs dealt with injuries early on this season, which is always tough, but the silver lining in early season injuries is what we are seeing with Kansas City: keep your head above water above water and surge as you become healthier than ever late in the season.

They could also get back on track next week when they come to Denver for a matchup with the Broncos. It will be a big game for both, but a win for Denver would put the Chiefs on the outside looking in, as far as the division race was concerned.

They always tend to be big when it comes to these two teams, but this week’s Sunday Night Football matchup between the Broncos and Chiefs will be both teams’ biggest game of the season.

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders and Texans wrapped the week up and did so in Mexico City.

By the way, am I the only one who doesn’t like the Mexico City game? I am not a big fan of the London game, either, but when a team has to go out of their way to bring their own food, water and essentials, isn’t the burden bigger than the reward? Then again I haven’t seen the league’s bottom line when it comes to international games, and we know that is the only thing that matters.

Anyways, the Raiders were favored coming into the game, but Brock Osweiler and the Texans made a game out of it. Credit to the Texans defensive line for slowing down the Raiders running game, the same running game that rushed for 218 yards against the Broncos defense.

The Oakland Raiders are a good football team, and with the help of bad spot, they survived in Mexico City. The end of season schedule for the Raiders does not hurt either. They will host the Panthers and Bills in the next two weeks, visit the Chiefs and Chargers to follow, host the Colts on Christmas Eve and then end the season with what could be a game for the division title when they come to Denver on January 1.

Denver Broncos

Last but not least, the Denver Broncos. They too had their bye week this week, and it could not have come at a better time. This team needed a week off. Get Aqib Talib healthy, the same for Trevor Siemian and gives DeMarcus Ware a week off after his return. There are a number of injured Broncos that needed this week to get their bodies back on track.

Denver sits at 7-3 and in control of their own destiny. Despite a few tough losses and bad outings from the offense, the offensive line in particular, this team is right where they need to be to defend their Super Bowl Championship!

I know things have not been ideal Broncos Country but look at this way: the Panthers just got their fourth win of the year and feel good about themselves. Denver might not look good or even pass the eye test at times, but (correct me if I’m wrong) the Super Bowl 50 Champs looked rough at times too.

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