AFC West Standings Week 12: Chiefs remain atop ahead of big matchup

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 24: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders makes a pass during the second half of their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on November 24, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 24: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders makes a pass during the second half of their game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on November 24, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /
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Despite only two AFC West teams in action on Sunday, the playoff picture for the division remained the same ahead of a deciding matchup next week. Here’s how the division stands after Week 12.

Only two AFC West teams suited up for Week 12 as the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers both were on their bye week, meanwhile, the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos both traveled coast to coast to face AFC East teams. In short, Sunday was not a good display of competition coming from the AFC West division, as the Raiders and Broncos were both held to just a field goal by the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills respectively.

At MetLife Stadium, the Raiders took a three-game wins streak and 6-4 record, good enough to hold the last AFC wild-card spot, for a contest against the Jets, looking to build on a two-game wins streak of their own. Simply put, one team was motivated and one team came unprepared to play, only it was the Jets that seemed like a team making a playoff push and the Raiders looked unwilling on all cylinders.

Oakland got on board first with three points, but from there on out the Jets registered 34 straight points, dominating the Raiders by game’s end. The loss knocks the Raiders out of the playoff picture (for now), but they have a huge test next up at Arrowhead.

The Broncos continued their downward spiral of a season, posting a similar three points on the scoreboard as the Bills’ defense dominated the afternoon. Brandon Allen was sacked four times on the day, Cortland Sutton was Denver’s leading receiver with just one reception on eight targets, and Buffalo completely neutralized the Broncos from the starting whistle.

The Bills got the victory and made history, as Frank Gore passed Barry Sanders for third on the NFL’s list of all-time rushing yard leaders.

Here are the standings for the AFC West through Week 12:

AFC West Standings (Week 12):

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
  2. Oakland Raiders (6-5)
  3. Los Angeles Chargers (4-7)
  4. Denver Broncos (3-8)

The division remains (relatively) the same in regards to the playoff picture. The Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers, struggling mightily this season and playing well below expectations (emphasis on Los Angeles) are very much out of the playoff picture. The real race remains with the AFC West’s top two teams, and it could very well be a race through to the end of the season.

Sunday’s loss to the Jets and the manner in which it came was a significant step back for the Raiders’ season. They are bumped out of the last wild card spot and now head to a tough Arrowhead Stadium facing a Chiefs team well rested after a bye. But the Raiders are not out of it just yet, and they have to play like it on Sunday.

Next. Raiders dominated by Jets in Week 12. dark

Teams have given the blueprint on how to knock off the Chiefs, even at Arrowhead Stadium. Contrary to Sunday, Jon Gruden has to get this team ready on all cylinders, and it will be up to Derek Carr, who has struggled at Arrowhead in his career, to overcome that obstacle to help keep the Raiders alive in this playoff hunt.