AFC West Standings, Week 9: Chiefs are running away with it

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 30: Tight end Travis Kelce
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 30: Tight end Travis Kelce /

At the halfway point, it has been all Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. Let’s take a look at the standings in the division heading into Week 9.

We’re halfway there in the 2017 NFL season. The Oakland Raiders are living on a prayer, as their AFC playoff dreams are slowly fading away as the weather starts to change. Of course, getting throttled on the road by the Buffalo Bills 34-14 only makes things worse for this underachieving bunch in the AFC West.

That being said, misery does love company, as the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Chargers have as many wins on the year as does only. These three rivals have three wins apiece, while Kansas City is running away with the AFC West at 6-2.

Here is a look at the updated AFC Standings heading into Week 9.

AFC West Standings

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2)
  2. Denver Broncos (3-4)
  3. Los Angeles Chargers (3-5)
  4. Oakland Raiders (3-5)

Kansas City is 6-2 on the year. The Chiefs won their first five games out of the gate before losing to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 6. Oakland would nab the Chiefs at The Coliseum in Week 7 on Thursday Night Football, but the Chiefs would bounce back with a big win over rival Denver on Monday Night Football in Week 8.

Denver is in second place in the AFC West simply because they have played one less game than the Chargers and Raiders. The Broncos split their season series with Los Angeles already. The home team won both of those games. Denver has already had its bye week, but only has wins over Los Angeles, Oakland and the Dallas Cowboys.

Los Angeles is in third place by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Raiders. The Chargers lost their first four games of the season before rattling off three straight wins over the New York Giants, the Raiders and the Broncos. They lost last week up in Foxborough to the New England Patriots.

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Oakland finds itself in the AFC West cellar at 3-5. After a 2-0 start, the Silver and Black have dropped five of their last six games to be one of the teams that would be picking in the top 10 if the season ended today. The Raiders’ wins are over the Tennessee Titans, the New York Jets and the Chiefs.

Overall, Kansas City has emerged as one of the three best teams in the AFC at the halfway point. Joining them are New England and Pittsburgh. It would be shocking at this point to see the Chiefs not win the AFC West in consecutive seasons in January.

As for the other three rivals, maybe one of them gets it together and gets the No. 6 seed. Right now, the Bills look to be a solid wild card team coming out of the AFC East. Other teams in the mix for the final AFC playoff spot include the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Houston Texans, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins. So pretty much every AFC team not named the Cleveland Browns or the Indianapolis Colts.

Next: Raiders: 5 players to watch vs. Dolphins

Sure, 14 of the 16 AFC teams are still in it. However, it looks like maybe only one wild card team will be coming out of the AFC West this year. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that only Kansas City makes the playoffs. At the halfway point, the most likely team to get a wild card might be Los Angeles. The Chargers are playing better ball than Denver or Oakland entering Week 9.