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NFL Playoff Scenarios: What Impact Can The Denver Broncos Have In The AFC West Race

With only three games remaining, what role will the Denver Broncos have in determining the AFC West playoff scenario? While Denver (3-10) has been out of playoff contention for several weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders still can win the division.

AFC West Standings

Kansas City 8 5 0 295 268
San Diego 8 6 0 388 260
Oakland 6 7 0 314 307
Denver 3 10 0 269 376

(updated 12.19.2010 at 4:26 AM EST)

The Raiders, whom the Broncos play today, have the toughest road, because they are currently two wins behind the Chiefs and the Chargers. If they beat Denver today, Oakland will improve to 5-0 in the division with a game against the Chiefs in two weeks to close out the regular season.

If Kansas City wins today against the St. Louis Rams and next week against the Tennessee Titans, the Chiefs will have 10 wins, eliminating the Raiders from AFC West contention (both wild card teams will likely have at least 10 wins, eliminating Oakland from the Wild Card, too).

The Chargers, who defeated the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday, could also reach 10 wins if they defeat the Cincinnati Bengals next week and the Broncos on the final week of the season. Should the Chiefs lose one of their remaining games and tie the Chargers with 10 games, the teams would go to the second tiebreaker since they split the season series at one game apiece. The team with the better division record would then receive the AFC West title.