AFC West is suddenly up for grabs

09/24/2012 3:58 PM

05/16/2014 7:47 PM

As bad as things looked for the Chiefs a week ago, they’re in the thick of a wide-open AFC West race entering Sunday’s showdown with the Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium.

CHIEFS (1-2)

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Next five games:

San Diego Chargers on Sunday; vs. Baltimore Ravens Oct. 7; at Tampa Bay Bucs Oct. 14; open date Oct. 21; vs. Oakland Raiders Oct. 28; at Chargers Nov. 1.

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Combined record of opponents:

8-7.

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Comment:

These next five, which include three against division foes, will help determine whether the Chiefs can be postseason players.

DENVER BRONCOS (1-2)

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Next five games:

vs. Oakland Raiders on Sunday; at New England Patriots Oct. 7; at San Diego Chargers Oct. 15; vs. New Orleans Saints Oct. 28; at Cincinnati Bengals Nov. 4.

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Combined record of opponents:

6-9.

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Comment:

Quarterback Peyton Manning’s arm strength isn’t looking so scary, but neither is the Broncos’ strength of upcoming schedule.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (2-1)

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Next five games:

at Chiefs on Sunday; at New Orleans Saints Oct. 7; vs. Denver Broncos Oct. 15; open date Oct. 21; at Cleveland Browns Oct. 28; vs. Chiefs Nov. 1.

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Combined record of opponents:

3-12.

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Comment:

The only team in the division that currently boasts a winning record also faces the easiest upcoming five-game stretch of the lot.

OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-2)

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Next five games:

at Denver Broncos on Sunday; open date Oct. 7; at Atlanta Falcons Oct. 14; vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Oct. 21; at Chiefs Oct. 28; vs. Tampa Bay Bucs Nov. 4.

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Combined record of opponents:

7-8.

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Comment: Coming off a gutsy victory over Pittsburgh, the Raiders can’t be counted out. Not to mention they’re always tough at Arrowhead.

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