As the NFL rounds the turn for the home stretch of the regular season, the Broncos are holding on to a one-game division lead heading into the final week.
Denver Broncos (11-4)**
Last outing: W 20-17, OT vs. Cincinnati Bengals (11-4)
The Broncos secured a playoff spot in a thrilling overtime win against the Bengals.
Standouts:** After falling behind early to the Bengals, the Broncos regrouped to stymie Cincinnati's offense and to put two touchdowns on the board in the second half to come back before winning the game in overtime. Running back C.J. Anderson averaged 8 yards per carry on nine rushing attempts, and he scored on a 39-yard touchdown gallop. Quarterback Brock Osweiler finished the game with 299 passing yards, a touchdown and zero interceptions. Defensively, defensive ends Derek Wolfe and Vance Walker combined for two sacks and outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware had the game-sealing fumble recovery.
Up next: The Broncos can secure a first-round bye in the playoffs with a win over San Diego (4-11) at home, but a loss could possibly hand over the AFC West title to the Chiefs, who have won nine consecutive games.
Kansas City Chiefs (10-5)
Last outing: W 17-13 vs. Cleveland Browns (3-12)
Standouts:** It wasn't a dominant showing by Kansas City, but a win nonetheless clinched a playoff berth for the Chiefs. An early touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Smith to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin followed by a field goal gave the Chiefs an early 10-point lead, but Cleveland drew within a touchdown shortly afterward. An interception from Smith gave the Browns the opportunity to even the score, but quarterback Johnny Manziel threw a pick two plays later. Kansas City couldn't run away with the game and ultimately allowed the Browns to come within four points in the fourth quarter, but the defense stiffened to keep Cleveland out of the end zone on their final two drives. This win gave the Chiefs their ninth in a row, and keeps the pressure on the Broncos in the division race.
Up next: The Chiefs can close out their season with a 10th consecutive win if they can beat the upstart Raiders (7-8) at Arrowhead Stadium, and a win also gives them a chance at winning the division should the Broncos fall to the Chargers.
Oakland Raiders (7-8)
Last outing: W 23-20, OT vs. San Diego Chargers (4-11)
Standouts:** It had to be victory for the Raiders in their final home game of the year, and the final home game of legendary defensive back Charles Woodson's career. The Chargers struck first but Oakland's defense stepped up in the second half with a safety to help shift momentum. A fumble recovery in the fourth quarter led to QB Derek Carr finding WR Michael Crabtree for a three-yard touchdown to put the Raiders up three points. After the Chargers tied the game in regulation, the Raiders drove for a field goal on the first drive of the extra period. The defense then held the Chargers without a first down to finish off the game.
Up next: The Raiders will look to end their season on a high note with a trip to Kansas City (10-5) with hopes of ending their nine-game win streak.
San Diego Chargers (4-11)
Last outing: L 23-20, OT at Oakland Raiders (7-8)
Standouts: With a touchdown from running back Donald Brown on the Chargers' opening drive after the defense intercepted QB Derek Carr, the Chargers jumped out to an early lead. QB Philip Rivers found WR Dontrelle Inman two drives later for another score, but that would be the final time they found the end zone. The defense was stout in the second half, holding Oakland to zero first downs on six of seven second-half possessions. However, on the one they didn't, the Raiders took possession at the Chargers' 3-yard line after a fumble and proceeded to score a go-ahead touchdown. The Chargers mounted a game-tying drive in regulation, but Oakland came out of the game with a win after San Diego couldn't get a first down on their overtime possession.
Up next: The Chargers will look to play spoiler for the Broncos (11-4), who need a win to secure a first-round bye.