The AFC West is one of three divisions in the NFL that will come down to the final week of the 2011 NFL season. Like the AFC North and unlike the NFC East, though, only one of the two teams in the race controls its own destiny.
That would be the Denver Broncos, whose Tim Tebow- and defense-fueled winning streak gave them pole position in the AFC West that has proved to be valuable; despite losses in Week 15 and Week 16, the Broncos can still win the division with a win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17 or a loss by the Oakland Raiders to the San Diego Chargers.
The Raiders, on the other hand, need to win and have the Broncos lose or tie or tie and have the Broncos lose to claim the division; the Raiders cannot beat Denver to win the AFC West if they finish with the same record, thanks to a tiebreaker.
To make things even more confusing, the Raiders, not the Broncos, remain alive in the AFC Wild Card chase.