AFC West: rapid reaction 16

Rapid Reaction: Bills 30, Broncos 23

December, 21, 2008

Posted by's Bill Williamson

DENVER -- See you in San Diego.

The Denver Broncos had two chances to win the AFC West in the past two weeks. They were unable to seal the deal.

Denver's loss in a thriller Sunday to Buffalo creates a winner-takes-the-division game in San Diego next Sunday. The Broncos are 8-7. San Diego, which has won three straight games, is 7-8.

The Broncos will have to forget the stinging loss to the Bills quickly. They squandered a 13-0 lead. The victory was secured for Buffalo when Denver receiver Brandon Stokley had the ball knocked out of his hands in the end zone on fourth down and 5 from the Buffalo 15 with less than a minute to play.

Posted by's Bill Williamson

It means little in the grand scheme. But the Oakland Raiders ended their 2008 home schedule with a smile.

And those have been rare in Oakland the past six years. The Raiders handled a Houston team that entered the game with a four-game winning streak.

The Raiders controlled the game. They are now 4-11 heading into their season finale at Tampa Bay.

Encouraging for next season was the play of young receivers Johnnie Lee Higgins and Chaz Schilens. Higgins had a touchdown catch and a punt return for a score and Schilens had a touchdown catch. The game was one of quarterback JaMarcus Russell's best of the season.

Again, there hasn't much to cheer about in Oakland this season so Raiders fans should savor it.

Posted by's Bill Williamson

OK, let's get it out of the way: Yes, the Kansas City Chiefs blew another lead in the second half. For those who are counting at home, and I know many of you are, that is six blown losses by Kansas City in its past nine games.

As Kansas City blown losses go, this one really wasn't all that gross. The Chiefs were leading 31-24 in the third quarter before Miami, braving frigid weather, scored the game's final two touchdowns of the game. This blown loss was amateurish compared to last week's disaster against San Diego when Kansas City blew an 11-point lead after the 2-minute warning.

Still, Sunday's loss is just another in a laundry list of failures for the Chiefs, who fell to 2-13. It was the team's final home game of the Carl Peterson era. It was announced the day after the loss to San Diego that he is out after 20 years in Kansas City, effective the end of the season.

It is also likely it was the final home game for coach Herman Edwards unless Peterson's replacement keeps him. Another blown loss does not help Edwards' cause.