Rapid Reaction: Broncos 24, Chiefs 17

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

DENVER -- It wasn't easy nor was it pretty.

But we've become accustomed to such games in the AFC West.

But the bottom line for the Denver Broncos is they won a game they needed to win. The Broncos beat the Chiefs and their magic number to clinch their first AFC West title in three years is now one. Denver is 8-5 and San Diego, which played its best game and walloped Oakland, 34-7, in its last game, is 5-8. Any Denver win or any San Diego loss or tie in the final three weeks of the season gives Denver the division championship.

Denver plays at Carolina next week, then hosts Buffalo and closes out the season at San Diego. The Chargers play at Kansas City next week, then plays at Tampa Bay before hosting Denver. If Denver loses out and San Diego wins out, the Chargers would win the division on a tiebreaker because of a better division record.

Yes, things look for good for Denver. Still, the Broncos had to fight for Sunday's win over the usually game but not-good-enough Chiefs. Kansas City had a 17-7 lead in the second quarter. But Denver scored the game's final 17 points to kill Kansas City and to put San Diego on life support.