The Kansas City Chiefs have been trying to shake off the Los Angeles Chargers all season long in their quest for a third straight AFC West title. Thanks to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, the Chiefs have some breathing room.
After sitting at 1-2 early in the season, the Los Angeles Chargers ripped off six straight wins and would not go away in the AFC West standings. Normally a 7-2 (now 7-3) record would be good enough to win the division, but the Kansas City Chiefs are having an incredible season and sit at 9-1 on the season.
Even with the 9-1 record, however, the Chargers kept winning and the Chiefs having to go on the road in the playoffs was still a very possible scenario. Fortunately, the Denver Broncos decided to help the Chiefs out a bit in week 11 and knocked the Chargers off with a last second field goal.
The most questionable part came near the end of the game when the Chargers were trying to run down the clock. Philip Rivers, on third down, threw the ball to the ground, which obviously stopped the clock. The Broncos had no timeouts, so just handing the ball off would have killed plenty of clock.
That, in turn, gave Denver some time to try and make something happen. As much grief as Chiefs fans give the Broncos for signing Case Keenum, the guy helped us out a lot on Sunday. He led the Broncos down the field with no timeouts and Brandon McManus went on to kick the game winning field goal. He actually kicked it twice since Anthony Lynn called a timeout and iced McManus the first time.
Denver beating the Chargers was huge for the Kansas City Chiefs. Yes, the Kansas City Chiefs still have to take care of business on Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams, but even if they drop that game, KC still holds a one and a half game lead over the Bolts in the division.
Winning the AFC West is always the goal, but this year it’s especially important, because second place in the West means you’re playing on the road throughout all of the playoffs. The Chiefs would have home field advantage throughout the playoffs if the season ended today and they need all of the help they can get.
So while we make fun of the Denver Broncos and typically despise them, let’s give them some thanks this week. Without their last second field goal, the Chargers are 8-2 and still right on the Chiefs’ heels. That would put even more pressure on the Chiefs to win against the Rams, but now if they lose, they’re in the same situation as before.
Hopefully a win happens against the Rams and the Chiefs can widen the gap in the AFC West!