Let’s look at some key statistics for each AFC West team heading into Week 17, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information:
The Broncos have lost two straight games going into Sunday’s home game against Kansas City. Denver will advance to the playoffs for the first time in six years if it wins Sunday. However, Denver has been in this situation before. It was alive in the final week of the season in 2006, 2008 and 2009. It lost all three times. The Broncos are just 7-16 combined in the final four games of the season dating back to 2006.
Denver quarterback Tim Tebow has seen 30.8 of his incomplete passes fall due to overthrows. It’s the most in the NFL. But his accuracy has improved in the past four games. He has completed 51.4 percent of his passes in the past four games, while he completed just 45.5 percent of his passes in his first seven games.
Former Denver quarterback and current Kansas City quarterback Kyle Orton has not been sacked in 68 pass attempts with the Chiefs. Orton has been sacked nine times this season. He has the fourth lowest percentage of pass plays that resulted in sacks in the NFL.
The Chiefs’ defense ranks second in the NFL percentage of passes intercepted at 4.4 this season. Kansas City has 19 interceptions this season.
Oakland’s pass defense has been terrific in the red zone. The Raiders have intercepted or defended more passes in the end zone than any team in the NFL. They have a combined 17 of those plays. The next best in the league is New England with 12.
The Raiders have not scored more than seven points in the first quarter of any game this season. They have 49 points in the first quarter, which is the 24th lowest total in the NFL.
The Raiders have allowed the most points in the NFL after halftime with 235. They have scored 153 points after halftime.
Before running back Darren McFadden was injured Oct. 23, Oakland averaged 159.3 rushing yards per game and had the No. 2 ranked rushing offense in the NFL. In the eight games since then, Oakland has averaged 111.5 yards per game, which is 18th in the league.
Quarterback Carson Palmer has thrown nine of his 15 interceptions this season against AFC West opponents. He has thrown interceptions on 5.3 percent of his passes, which is the second highest percentage in the NFL.
The Chargers have allowed opponents to convert 48.4 percent of their third-down plays. It is the worst percentage in the NFL. It is difficult to win if you can’t get your defense off the field.
If quarterback Philip Rivers throws one more interception and throws for 186 more yards, he will join the likes of Dan Fouts, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, Warren Moon and Dan Marino, who had seasons in which they threw for more than 4,500 yards and had at least 20 interceptions.