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2011 NFL Standings: Denver Broncos Within Striking Distance Of AFC West Lead

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Three losses by their divisional foes has opened the door for the Denver Broncos.

Sunday was a very, very good day for the Denver Broncos. After a humiliating loss to the Detroit Lions that had some Lions players savaging QB Tim Tebow in the press and openly wondering if he even belongs in the NFL, the Broncos rode into Oakland and defeated the Raiders 38-24. The victory brings Denver to 3-5 on the season, while Oakland, who has lost two in a row since acquiring QB Carson Palmer, falls to 4-4.

The Kansas City Chiefs, who entered Week 9 in first place, were embarrassed in Arrowhead Stadium by the formerly winless Miami Dolphins to the tune of 31-3, dropping them to 4-4 as well. The San Diego Chargers, fresh off a baffling loss themselves, saw QB Philip RIvers throw three interceptions in a 45-38 loss that also leaves them at 4-4.

Week 10 will be a pivotal one in the NFC West, as all four teams will take on divisional opponents: Oakland will travel to San Diego in the NFL's first Thursday night game of the year and Denver will head east to visit Kansas City. Here's how the standings look after Week 9.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs: 4-4
  2. San Diego Chargers: 4-4
  3. Oakland Raiders: 4-4
  4. Denver Broncos: 3-5