AFC West Tiebreaker: Are Chiefs or Chargers Ahead in Standings?

Philip Rivers

Getty Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers

The Los Angeles Chargers pulled off a stunning victory over the Kansas City Chiefs to start Week 15. In turn, they jumped into a tie for first place in the AFC West, as both teams sit at 11-3 currently. But the key topic now involves the fact that the two teams split the season series. In turn, tiebreakers are currently determining the playoff outlook.

Here’s a look at the latest AFC West standings after Week 16:

  1. 1. Kansas City Chiefs: 11-4*
  2. 2. Los Angeles Chargers: 11-4
  3. 3. Denver Broncos: 6-8
  4. 4. Oakland Raiders: 3-11

*The Chiefs hold the tiebreaker currently due to the fact that they have a better win percentage in division games. This is the second tiebreaker that it comes down to, as head-to-head is the first.


NFL Divisional Tiebreakers

While the Chiefs currently hold the lead in the AFC West and also the No. 1 seed in the conference still, there’s still quite a bit of football to be played before this is decided. This race could come down to additional tiebreakers, so we’re going to break down the full list of potential factors for the division title, courtesy of NFL.com.

*Note: These are the tiebreakers involving just two teams.

  1. 1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
    2. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
    3. Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
    4. Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
    5. Strength of victory.
    6. Strength of schedule.
    7. Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
    8. Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
    9. Best net points in common games.
    10. Best net points in all games.
    11. Best net touchdowns in all games.
    12. Coin toss

Currently, the Chiefs sit with a 4-1 division record while the Chargers are 3-2. If Kansas City is able to win out, this means they’ll hold onto the division lead. Both teams have one AFC West game remaining, as the Chargers play the Broncos in Week 17 while the Chiefs square off with the Oakland Raiders that same week.


Wild Finish in Week 15

Philip Rivers and the Chargers showed the ultimate level of resiliency, as they fell behind the Chiefs by double-digits on three different occasions, each time cutting into the deficit. They also didn’t hold a lead until there were four seconds remaining in the game, and that came after a 60-yard drive in 2:33.

The game wrapped up with Rivers tossing a touchdown to wide receiver Mike Williams and the Chargers opted to go for the two-point conversion. Williams was left wide open on the conversion due to a miscommunication by the Chiefs defense, and it locked up a 29-28 victory in Arrowhead.

READ NEXT: Kareem Hunt Chiefs Release: Is Le’Veon Bell Replacement Option?

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