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AFC West Watch: With two weeks until the playoffs, Broncos have no room for error

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The Kansas City Chiefs are nipping at the Denver Broncos' heels with two weeks to play.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


1. Denver Broncos (11-3, 4-1 division record)

2. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3, 2-3)

3. San Diego Chargers (7-7, 2-2)

4. Oakland Raiders (4-10, 1-3)

Clinching Scenarios

Both the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs have clinched a playoff berth. But at respective 11-3 overall records, this division is far from won for the Denver Broncos. If the Broncos lose another game, they give control of the division to the Chiefs.

A Broncos win AND a Chiefs loss in Week 16 would clinch an AFC West title for the Broncos.

The Chiefs cannot clinch a division title in Week 16. Two Chiefs wins and one Broncos loss in Week 16 or 17 would crown them AFC West champs.

1. Denver Broncos

The Broncos' 20-27 loss to the Chargers in Week 15 wiped out any cushion in the division race they had earned against Kansas City. From here on in the regular season, it's not win or go home - it's win or lose home.... home field advantage in the playoffs, that is.

Remaining schedule: at Houston (2-12), at Oakland (4-10). Listen, no game in the NFL is easy, but these are should-win games for a top seed in the playoffs. Frankly, if the Broncos lose to either of these teams, they don't deserve to be the #1 seed in this conference. Get them coached up, Foxy.

2. Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City put a whooping on the Raiders in Week 15, scoring 56 points - that's more than the Broncos have ever mustered in a game in franchise history.

Remaining schedule: vs. Colts (9-5), at San Diego (7-7). The Chiefs' remaining schedule is much tougher than the Broncos - these are two of the three teams the Broncos lost to, after all - but Andy Reid has this offense clicking at the right time. The Broncos cannot count on the Chiefs dropping a game at this point.

3. San Diego Chargers

The Chargers need to win out and need help for a playoff berth. The Ravens and Dolphins are fighting for the 6th seed in the AFC, and each have an 8-6 record, better than the Chargers.

Remaining schedule: vs .Raiders (4-10), vs. Chiefs (11-3). The good news? The Chargers are home the rest of the way. The bad news? All they have left are division matchups. Considering the Chargers already lost to the bad team on their remaining schedule (Oakland) and beat the good team on their schedule (Kansas City), division games are always a bit of a coin flip.

4. Oakland Raiders

A thorough drubbing by the Chiefs has this team looking forward to the 2014 season, and another high selection in the draft.

Remaining schedule: at Chargers (7-7), vs. Broncos (11-2). The Raiders have been eliminated from the playoffs but can now play spoiler to two division rivals if they so choose. Do not sleep on that effect, Broncos fans.