After the Denver Broncos' 49-29 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday, the AFC West standings received a new leader. While both the Chiefs and the Raiders have a 5-4 record on the season, the Raiders stand atop the AFC West because they defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime, 23-20, two weeks ago.
The Raiders also benefited this weekend because of their bye, as did San Diego. What is becoming clear now is that the AFC West is far from settled and there is no clear top-tier team yet. Even the Broncos at 3-6 still have a chance to win the division. However, that would involve the Broncos winning their seven remaining games, four of which come against division opponents, to finish 10-6. And all the variables of the other AFC West teams faltering down the stretch would need to occur. It's a long shot, but never discount any possibility.
Coming this week, the Broncos and Chargers play each other in San Diego on Monday Night Football, the Chiefs host the 3-6 Arizona Cardinals and the Raiders travel east to face the 6-3 Pittsburgh Steelers. The Raiders would appear to have the toughest game, but Pittsburgh is only 2-2 at home (4-1 on the road). However, the Raiders are only 1-3 on the road. The Chiefs look to have an easy go of things against a Cardinals team that has dropped four straight, but weren't those same things being said on last week during the run up to the game against the Broncos? As for the Broncos-Chargers game, a Broncos victory would keep the team in the race for the AFC West.