Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)
It was not their best performance and not nearly what was expected against a deteriorating Denver team, but the Chiefs eked out a pivotal 10-6 victory.
Kansas City dominated the line of scrimmage as running backs Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones combined for more than 240 yards from scrimmage. Red-hot receiver Dwayne Bowe was held without a catch, but TE Tony Moeaki took advantage of the attention paid outside the hashes to grab four balls for 54 yards.
Matt Cassel was efficient, going 17-of-31 for 196 yards and a score. The big question is whether he will get a chance for an encore in Week 14, as he underwent an appendectomy on Wednesday morning and is questionable for Sunday's game in San Diego. If Cassel is unable to go, Brodie Croyle, a fifth-year veteran who is 0-9 as a starter, will replace him.
Oakland Raiders (6-6)
The Raiders cashed in on the Chargers' worst outing of the season. With no help from his running game or his ailing receiving corps, Philip Rivers struggled to find a rhythm while the Raiders never missed a beat. Oakland forced a pair of early turnovers and dominated field position and time of possession.
Jason Campbell dominated with his arms and legs, as he fooled Chargers with misdirection plays on more than one occasion. He set the tone early in the game when he ran a perfectly executed naked bootleg for a 9-yard score.
The Raiders are now tied with the Chargers in the standings and hold the tiebreaker after having swept the season series. However, Oakland has the toughest closing schedule of any team in the AFC West, starting this week in Jacksonville and ending with games versus Indianapolis and at Kansas City.
Denver Broncos (3-9)
The Broncos suffered their 17th loss in the last 22 games, but it was clear the players did not quit on Josh McDaniels -- not like the organization did just one day later. Denver pushed Kansas City to its limit and had several chances to win the game late. The comeback never materialized, which may have expedited McDaniels' dismissal.
The Broncos' defense was especially impressive, pitching a second-half shutout and ensuring no Chiefs player finished with more than 54 receiving yards. Denver's statistically stellar offense sputtered, however, failing to find the end zone.
The Broncos will finish out the season under interim coach Eric Studesville. Having already been eliminated from playoff contention, Denver's primary objective from here on out will be player development and evaluation. It may be time for fans to break out their ever-popular Tim Tebow jerseys.
Can the Chargers exploit Cassel's injury? Discuss inside the message boards.
AFC West Recap, Week 13
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