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AFC West Standings: Broncos, Chiefs clinch playoff berths

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Week 16 brought a guaranteed spot in the playoffs for two AFC West teams. The winner of the division will be decided next Sunday.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Raise your hand if you woke up loved ones cheering at the end of the Broncos-Bengals game. OK, does everyone have their hand raised? Or did you wake them up earlier than that with either cheers or groans?

The Monday Night showdown between the Denver Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals was a gut-wrenching game for fans of both teams to watch. The Broncos looked lost and confused in the first half, but pulled it together in the second half (yes, the second half!) to pull ahead of the Bengals after massive mistakes by both teams.

Fans of the Broncos and Bengals weren't the only crowd with upset stomachs Monday; fans of the Kansas City Chiefs are also watching intently, hoping that the Bengals would deliver them their first AFC West lead of the season. That didn't happen. The Chiefs did earn their own playoff berth, however, and while they didn't earn their playoff berth in similarly dramatic fashion, nine wins in a row is an impressive achievement in itself.

Here's your AFC West Wrap-Up for Week 16.

AFC West Standings

Team W L T Div Conf.
Denver Broncos 11 4 0 3-2 7-4
Kansas City Chiefs 10 5 0 4-1 9-2
Oakland Raiders 7 8 0 3-2 7-4
San Diego Chargers 4 11 0 0-5

3-8

Bengals @ Broncos

Final score: 17-20

In brief: This was the Broncos third overtime win of the season. The fact that the game was even close was a bit of Mile High Magic, as the Broncos were completely outplayed in the first half. Luckily for Broncos fans, this game was not a repeat of the Broncos-Colts playoff game which ended last season. The Broncos woke up at halftime, and fought until the very end to get the most crucial win of the season.

A note to Brandon McManus: You just realized every kickers nightmare of choking right when your team needs you the most. But you followed that up by making a kick in OT. Consider this your big mistake of the year and move on. The Broncos will need you in the playoffs.

Injury Concerns: Brandon Marshall (ankle)

Week 16 matchup: Chargers @ Broncos

Browns @ Chiefs

Final score: 13-17

In brief: This was win number nine for the Kansas City Chiefs, and the win that assured the Chiefs a spot in the playoffs. A win against the Cleveland Browns (and a tight one at that) may not seem very impressive, but this is the NFL - all wins are important. Just ask Pittsburgh Steelers fans whose team lost to the Baltimore Ravens, or Carolina Panthers fans who were hoping to go undefeated.

Injury Concerns: None.

Week 16 matchup: Raiders @ Chiefs

Chargers @ Raiders

Final score: 20-23

In brief: This Thursday night game will be memorable for one thing - Charles Woodson's last home game as both a Raider and an NFL player. It was an overtime game, which would have been much more enjoyable earlier in the season for non-Chargers and non-Raiders fans. In the end for Broncos fans, the Chargers were never a threat as they were consistently doomed by injuries, and the Raiders will likely be a thorn in the side of every other AFC West team next year.

That is of course, assuming both the Chargers and Raiders are still in the AFC West next year - which would not be likely if both teams move to Los Angeles. As Yoda would say, "The future, difficult to see it is."

Raiders Injury/Suspension Concerns: Amari Cooper (foot), FB Marcel Reese was suspended for four games due to PED use and will not be eligible to play in the Pro Bowl

Chargers Injury Concerns: Jason Verrett (hamstring), Eric Weddle (groin - IR'd), Orlanda Franklin (concussion), Trevor Robinson (concussion)

Raiders Week 16 matchup: Raiders @ Chiefs

Chargers Week 16 matchup: Chargers @ Broncos

Poll

Who will win the AFC West

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    Denver Broncos
    (1051 votes)
  • 6%
    Kansas City Chiefs
    (78 votes)
1129 votes total Vote Now