The Denver Broncos lost to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, the penultimate game of Week 16 NFL action. The final score in the game was 34 to 10 in favor of the Chiefs, a result that ends the playoff hopes of the Denver Broncos. Denver have one more game coming up in Week 17, a match-up against the Oakland Raiders, however the game is meaningless for Denver's playoff chances.

Denver tanked in recent weeks

The Broncos, as the defending Super Bowl champions, really fell flat in recent weeks. This was an 8-4 team that had promise not just for the playoffs but even for a division title not long ago.

However, three straight losses that culminated on Sunday night in the loss to KC have seen the Broncos decline to 8-7. Currently Miami is the 2nd Wild Card team and they are 10-5, meaning that they are out of the reach of an 8-win team heading into the final week.

Kansas City, after defeating the Broncos, will now hope that Denver do them a favor. The Chiefs need Denver to beat Oakland next week so that KC might get the No. 2 seed in the AFC. If Denver do beat Oakland, then the Chiefs would need but to beat the San Diego Chargers in the final week of the season to rob the Raiders of the AFC West title. That in turn would send KC all the way to the divisional round with home-field advantage and a reasonable shot of making it to the Super Bowl.

The Miami Dolphins are also into the playoffs following the result from Sunday night. They could be the 5 seed or the 6 seed still, a matter I looked at in another article (read about Miami's situation).

How the AFC looks right now

With the way the games went in Week 16, the situation looking forward in the AFC is anti-climatic.

The playoff teams won't be determined in any do-or-die games next week as the six teams that are in are now known. There is some possible jumping around for seeding that promises to make things interesting, but changes in seeding aren't as dramatic as elimination scenarios. With KC beating Denver, the current situation is as follows:

  • No. 6 Miami Dolphins
  • No. 5 KC Chiefs
  • No. 4 Houston Texans
  • No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers
  • No. 2 Oakland Raiders
  • No. 1 New England Patriots

Houston and Pittsburgh can't change position regardless of what happens.

Miami can be 5th or 6th while KC can be 5th, 6th, or 2nd. Oakland can be 1st, 2nd, or 5th while New England can be 1st or 2nd.

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