AFC West: rapid reaction 13

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

So much for that late playoff push from the Oakland Raiders.

After the Raiders' impressive win at Denver last week, a few Oakland players said they were still in the race. That talk must end now.

The Raiders followed up their surprising win at Denver with an equally surprising loss to Kansas City on Sunday. As fired up and effective as it was last week in Denver, Oakland was as flat and lackluster against the Chiefs. Oakland is now 3-9. It is not going to the playoffs.

But it is back on track for having the worst six-year stretch in NFL history. If Oakland loses two more time this season it will become the first team in league history to register six straight 11-loss seasons.

While the loss to Kansas City is a killer for Oakland. the win over the Raiders is a rare bright spot for the Chiefs who won for the first time since Week 4. It is just Kansas City's second win in its last 21 games.

The Chiefs took a step backward in the past two weeks as they allowed 84 points, including a franchise record high 54 points last week against Buffalo.

But the Chiefs, who blew three straight games earlier in the season, found a way to finish. The Chiefs are now 2-10 and if it can play well in December, coach Herman Edwards could possibly save his job.

While the loss ends any wild dreams for Oakland, the win gives Kansas City a reason to smile amid a brutal season.

Rapid Reaction: Broncos 34, Jets 17

November, 30, 2008
11/30/08
8:39
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Mark the Denver Broncos down as one of the most confusing teams in the NFL.

They just handled the New York Jets, who entered Sunday's game as perhaps the hottest team in the NFL coming off of road wins over New England and previously unbeaten Tennessee.

But the Jets were beaten -- and beaten soundly -- by the Broncos. Yes, the same Broncos who lost by three touchdowns at home last week to lowly Oakland. The Broncos are the only team in the NFL to lose to both the Chiefs and the Raiders. Denver has lost three straight home games. But this win over New York is Denver's third straight road win.

The Broncos couldn't be any more perplexing. The problem for some AFC team is Denver will be a perplexing opponent in the postseason.

Denver's huge win over New York, coupled with San Diego's home defeat to Atlanta, makes it highly probable that Denver will win its first AFC West crown in three years. The Broncos are 7-5 while the Chargers are 4-8. With four games to go, Denver needs a minor miracle.

But who knows, these are the Broncos we're talking about. After last week's loss to Oakland, it looked like the Broncos we're in need of a minor miracle to beat the Jets.

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

SAN DIEGO -- When the season is over for the San Diego Chargers -- and more and more that date is looking like Dec. 28, the final Sunday of the regular season -- the fault will lie squarely on the team's shoulders.

The Chargers are controlling their own fate and it's not going well. San Diego just fell to 4-8 after its loss to Atlanta. This was supposed to be the time San Diego made its run. Sunday's game was the second in a stretch of three home games. The Chargers were defeated by Indianapolis last Sunday and they host Oakland on Thursday.

Still, the home stretch has done nothing for San Diego, which was flat all game long against the Falcons. Atlanta could have blown out San Diego. It left many points on the field. This game was never really close.

The Chargers can't look back at this game and say they could have won. This wasn't one of these last-minute losses. The Chargers were outplayed and outcoached.

With four games to go, San Diego, which won 25 games combined in the past two seasons, can go 8-8 at best. Unless Denver completely tumbles, the preseason Super Bowl favorite Chargers are going to go down as one of the great disappointments in recent NFL memory.

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