AFC West: 2011 Week 16 Wrap-ups

Wrap-up: Raiders 16, Chiefs 13 (OT)

December, 24, 2011

A look at a thrilling 16-13 Oakland win:

What it means: The Raiders are still alive. The Chiefs are not. When Sebastian Janikowski’s 36-yard field goal went through the uprights, the Raiders became 8-7 and tied with Denver for first place in the AFC West. Denver owns the tiebreaker and can win the division title with a home win against the Chiefs next Sunday. Oakland will win the division with a home win against San Diego and a Kansas City win at Denver. If the Chargers lose at Detroit on Saturday, and if Denver and Oakland both lose in Week 17, Denver will win the division. Oakland is a game out in the wild-card race. It will need to win next week and hope for some help to make it as a wild card. Kansas City fell to 6-9 and was eliminated from playoff contention. It won the AFC West last year. It was Oakland’s fifth straight win at Kansas City, which is a team record. The Chiefs have gone eight straight games in which it has scored 19 points or less.

Big arm at the right time: After winning the coin flip to open overtime, Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for a 53-yard reception deep in Kansas City territory to set up the game-winning field goal. Palmer was decent on Saturday, but he came up big when he was most needed.

Seymour is a chip off the old block: Oakland defensive lineman Richard Seymour blocked two Ryan Succop 49-yard field goal attempts, including one at the end of regulation. Succop had tied a team record of 22 straight field goals made before the first block.

No shame for Romeo: I wouldn’t think this loss severely damaged Romeo Crennel’s hope to become the permanent head coach. Kansas City beat Green Bay last week to help Crennel’s chances. The Chiefs played hard on Saturday under Crennel and that will go a long way in helping his cause when the Chiefs evaluate the situation after the season.

Orton not great: In his second start as the Chiefs’ quarterback, Kyle Orton was just OK as he compiled 21 of 36 passes for 300 yards. Orton, though, threw two interceptions with the Chiefs driving that ending up killing Kansas City. The Chiefs are 2-for-9 in the red zone with Orton.

Penalties pile up: There were 26 penalties for 180 yards. Oakland was penalized 15 times for 92 yards. The Raiders are on pace to set an NFL record for penalties and penalties yardage in a season.

Wasting a fake: A penalty wiped out an Oakland touchdown on a fake field goal. That’s terrible. Sooner or later, opponents are going to catch onto Hue Jackson’s penchant for fakes. To waste a touchdown on a penalty is horrible.

Good defense: Both defenses failed late, but they both hung in for the most part. Oakland came into the game allowing 13 touchdowns in the past three games.

Bowe comes up big when it counts: Kansas City receiver Dwayne Bowe was great at the end of the game and he tied the game with a short touchdown reception; it was his first score in 53 catches.

What’s next: Oakland hosts San Diego and Kansas City plays at Denver.

Wrap-up: Bills 40, Broncos 14

December, 24, 2011

A look at an AFC West-tightening game in Buffalo, with the Bills winning 40-14.

What it means: The Broncos made their life a little tougher as they fell to 8-7. Still, the Broncos control their own destiny. They can win the AFC West title with a win against the Chiefs at home next week. What is most alarming is how lopsided the loss was. The Broncos have not played well in the past two games, losing to New England and Buffalo by a combined 44 points.

Streak buster: The victory snapped Buffalo's seven-game losing streak. It also snapped a five-game road winning streak for Denver.

Got Buffaloed again: In Week 16 in 2008, Buffalo beat Denver to keep the Broncos from clinching a playoff spot. Denver ended up out of the playoffs. Could a Buffalo win over Denver in Week 16 help knock the Broncos out of the postseason again?

Terrible day for Tim Tebow: The beauty of Tebow has been his lack of turnovers. That changed at Buffalo. Tebow threw four interceptions. Two of the picks were brought back for touchdowns 19 seconds apart. Tebow took a big step back this week after taking a step forward last week.

Denver’s D was decent: Despite giving up 40 points, Denver’s defense only gave up one touchdown. In addition to the two defensive scores, Buffalo had a punt return for a score. Denver’s defense gave up four field goals. Denver has allowed 81 points in the past two games, but most of the problems have not been defense-related.

What’s next: Again, Denver still controls its own destiny. It will win the AFC West with a win against the visiting Chiefs next Sunday.