The AFC West saw two playoff hopefuls battle it out, with one of them going on to lift the biggest prize, the Lombardi Trophy, last weekend. The Broncos would win the division, just a game ahead of the Chiefs, with the Raiders and Chargers falling well short of the mark.
Denver Broncos – 12-4 (#1 seed)
Won Super Bowl 50 – W 24-10 v Panthers
The Broncos were tipped as one of the favourites before the season started, and were one of five teams to go perfect through their first seven games of 2015. However, it looked like their season might stagnate with defeats in Week’s 9 and 10. When Peyton Manning went down injured, it looked like their season might be over, but Brock Osweiler saw them 5-2 through their final seven games to get them to the top of the AFC West.
After securing the #1 seed in the AFC, the Broncos got the bye week before facing the Steelers. After losing to them in the regular season, Denver got their revenge with a 23-16 win at Mile High. The AFC Championship Game saw one of the tightest finishes in NFL history, with the Broncos stopping a last-minute two-point conversion from the Patriots to tie the game. They then went on to San Francisco, where their defence dismantled the Panthers offence and gave them nothing. The Broncos won the Super Bowl, with Peyton Manning getting his second Super Bowl ring.
After winning SB50, the Broncos will have the 31st and last (with the Patriots not having one in the first round) pick in the draft.
Kansas City Chiefs – 11-5 (#5 seed)
Divisional Weekend – L 27-20 to Patriots
The Chiefs were one of the outsiders to reach the playoffs at the start of the season but after going 1-5 through their first six games. However, a fantastic run of 10 straight wins, including a victory against each of their divisional rivals, saw them leap up to 11-5. This was enough for them to secure the 5th seed in the AFC playoff hunt.
In the first week of the playoffs, the Chiefs travelled to Houston, where they were expected to win a tight game. However, they steamrolled the Texans, shutting them out for 60 minutes. After wing 30-0 in Houston, the Chiefs travelled to New England where they just did not have enough. A 27-20 defeat saw them fall out of the playoffs in an unfortunate manner.
The Chiefs will have the 28th pick in the draft.
Oakland Raiders – 7-9
Oakland came into the season with the possibility of this being their last season in the city. However, their season was very inconsistent, and not the ending Charles Woodson was looking for in his last season in the NFL. They were never able to get a run of wins together, and despite beating the Broncos in Week 14, they fell to a less than .500 record, ending at 7-9.
The Raiders will have the 14th pick in the draft in April.
San Diego Chargers – 4-12
The Chargers were also looking at playing their final season in their home city. However, that has fallen through and will have one more year at the Qualcomm in San Diego. They will be hoping for better this year, after a terrible 2015. A run of six straight defeats in the middle of the season saw their hopes of playoff football curtail, ending with just four wins on the year.
The Chargers will pick 3rd in the 2016 NFL draft in April.