AFC West Standings Week 12: Chiefs running away with division
The AFC West title is still not technically decided but the Kansas City Chiefs are running away with the division and gunning for the AFC’s number one seed
After 12 weeks of the 2020 season, the Kansas City Chiefs are in pole position to win the AFC West for the fifth straight season. There was a shred of doubt that they could possibly lose out to the Las Vegas Raiders when the two teams faced off in Week 11 but the Chiefs squeaked past the Raiders to put a stranglehold on the division.
The Chiefs slammed the door on talks of the Raiders pipping them to the division title and continued to put more distance between them and the rest of the pack with a win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. Kansas City looked to have that game decided in the fourth quarter but the Buccaneers made a spirited comeback and it took some Patrick Mahomes wizardry to seal the victory in a four-minute offense.
Raiders embarrassed in Atlanta
The Raiders were unable to build on the momentum of their impressive performance, even in defeat, against KC in Week 11 and were embarrassed by an up and down Atlanta Falcons squad. Derek Carr had the worst game of his season, turning the ball over four times, and as a team, the Silver and Black gave the ball back to Atlanta five times.
It was a disappointing way for the Raiders to respond to the challenge of playing an inferior opponent on their home turf and does not bode well for the rest of the season. Now instead of chasing the Chiefs, they must hope to get one of three wild card spots with their chances diminishing every week.
The Denver Broncos were on the unfortunate end of some COVID-19 bad luck as all of the quarterbacks on their roster were deemed high-risk contacts after one of them tested positive and had to sit out the game against the New Orleans Saints. The Broncos were forced to start a receiver from their practice squad who had not played QB in years and he was overwhelmed by the task.
Even if Denver had Drew Lock or Brett Rypien under center they were unlikely to beat rolling Saints who feature perhaps the best defense in the NFL but they may have made it a contest. Alas, we’ll never know and the Broncos drop to three games under .500 and maybe looking to pack it in for the season.
In other AFC West action, the Los Angeles Chargers fought valiantly against the Buffalo Bills but fell short to a superior opponent playing at home. The Chargers are a dangerous team with a fearless young quarterback but they have been beset by injuries and will be looking to build around Justin Herbert in 2021. Maybe going 3-13 won’t be so bad for their future prospects as long as they keep Herbert healthy.
AFC West Standings (Week 12)
- Kansas City Chiefs (10-1)
- Las Vegas Raiders (6-5)
- Denver Broncos (4-7)
- Los Angeles Chargers (3-8)
With the Chiefs running away with the division and the two bottom teams already looking ahead to 2021, the rest of the season seems to be a formality in deciding who will win the AFC West. Kansas City is clearly the class of the division and while the Raiders may have taken them down in Week 5, they are not on their level over the course of a 16-game season.