The Oakland Raiders had a bye in Week 10, but still ended up losing control of the AFC West.
With just a few minutes to go in both the Broncos vs. Saints and Chiefs vs. Panthers games, it was looking like the Oakland Raiders would extend their AFC West lead.
But somehow, both Kansas City and Denver managed to pull off miraculous victories in the final minutes, or seconds, of their respective games.
Let’s start with the Chiefs game.
The Panthers had a 17-0 lead on the Chiefs, and managed to blow that lead, giving up 17 4th quarter points (and 20 unanswered) to lose 20-17.
With their victory, the Chiefs moved to 7-2, same record as Oakland. And since Kansas City beat Oakland and have the better division record, they are now in first place of the AFC West.
How the Chiefs ended up winning this game was crazy. Marcus Peters completely ripped the ball away from Kelvin Benjamin, in Panthers territory, and would go on to kick a field goal as time expired.
After the play, Peters punted the ball and should have been given a 15-yard penalty for that. But that is hardly a controversy.
Not like the Denver game.
Trailing late in the fourth quarter, the Saints went marching down and scored a touchdown to tie the game at 23. A PAT would give them the lead, but Broncos rookie safety Justin Simmons perfectly timed his jump over the center, blocked the PAT, and Denver recovered and ran it all the way back to take a two-point lead.
It was an incredible play by Simmons, but the touchdown should have been overturned. Will Parks, the Bronco who picked up the ball and scored, stepped out of bounds. The play was reviewed, but the referees determined there was not conclusive evidence to change the call.
Apparently half of his foot being out of bounds is not conclusive enough. The white cleats add to the confusion, but still, this should have been clear enough.
In Week 11, hopefully the Raiders are all wearing white cleats, and hopefully they can regain their position as leaders of the AFC West.
Which, by the way, is by far the best division in football. The Raiders and Chiefs are both 7-2 and the Broncos are 7-3.
At this point in the season, it seems likely this division will put three teams into the playoffs, which would be quite the feat.
The Raiders play the Chiefs in Week 14 and the Broncos in Week 17.