29. KANSAS CITY (13-5)
LAST SEASON: Chiefs rolled to third straight AFC West title thanks to second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who shattered just about every franchise passing record...
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders filled two more holes on their depth chart Thursday by signing linebacker Brandon Marshall and running back Isaiah Crowell to one-year...
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — In just about every season he's been in charge of football operations in Denver, John Elway has had to address major concerns at one or both of the two most consequential positions in the NFL: head coach and quarterback.
This offseason, he made changes at both spots, hiring Vic Fangio and acquiring Joe Flacco in a trade that will become official next month when the league's new year begins.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The even-keeled executive with the crisp suit and winning smile stood inside the mostly empty Kansas City Chiefs locker room, his team having just won a home playoff game for the first time in 25 years.
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Anthony Lynn often said that the Los Angeles Chargers winning six of their final seven games in 2017 helped serve as a springboard to this season's success, which resulted in the team's first postseason berth in five years.
Lynn is hoping Sunday's 41-28 loss to New England in the AFC divisional round can serve the same purpose for next season's group.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs didn't draft Patrick Mahomes merely to make the playoffs.
Matt Cassel accomplished that, and quarterbacks Steve Bono, Elvis Grbac, Trent Green and Alex Smith went one better by making it to the divisional round. Smith even won a wild-card game, the first playoff victory by the long-suffering Chiefs since Joe Montana led them to the AFC title game in the 1993 season.
No, the Chiefs didn't trade up to select Mahomes just to make the playoffs.
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers' prize for dismantling the toughest defense in the NFL is a road game against a team that has long been a nemesis for Philip Rivers.
Los Angeles advanced to the divisional round of the postseason by beating the Baltimore Ravens 23-17 on Sunday. Next up, a matchup against the New England Patriots (11-5) this Sunday.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Frank Reich stuck with his old-school philosophy even when the Indianapolis Colts were losing games in September and early October.
The Indianapolis Colts' first-year coach insisted that even in an increasingly pass-happy league a balanced offense would turn them into real AFC contenders.
Over the past 11 weeks, the perfect one-two combination has landed plenty of scoring punches, propelling the Colts into an improbable divisional-round matchup at AFC West champion Kansas City.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Justin Houston wouldn't let the question come out before cutting it off. Fullback Anthony Sherman was even less accommodating than the bruising linebacker of the Kansas City Chiefs.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs went into their regular-season finale with a lot riding on the outcome.
Beat the Raiders and they would have their third consecutive AFC West championship and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, not to mention home-field advantage throughout. Lose to their longtime division rivals and risk falling to the No. 5 seed as a wild-card team with a much more difficult road to Atlanta.
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers don't need much of a refresher course on their first-round playoff opponent, considering they played them less than two weeks ago.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Justin Houston has played long enough for the Kansas City Chiefs to have heard Arrowhead Stadium roaring in victory and silenced in defeat, along with just about every decibel in between.
What floated through the crisp December air on Sunday night was something new.
It started quietly, grew slowly and finally reached a crescendo: "MVP! "MVP! MVP!"
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes stalked Chiefs wide receiver Damarcus Robinson on the sideline as chants of "MVP" echoed throughout Arrowhead Stadium, trying to track down a football that would serve as a keepsake not only of this night but of this season.
There are plenty of playoff implications heading into the final day of the NFL's regular season on Sunday.
Already in the playoffs, the Texans need a win over the Jaguars to clinch the AFC South.
In Kansas City, the Chiefs need a win over Oakland to clinch the AFC West and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs safety Eric Berry missed practice Friday after the heel injury that kept him out most of the season acted up, leaving his status for Sunday's pivotal game against Oakland in question.
The Chiefs (11-4) can clinch the AFC West and No. 1 seed in the playoffs by beating the Raiders.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Upon further review, Bradley Roby is trying to shrug off the stinging judgment call from the booth.
The Denver Broncos cornerback drew criticism from ESPN commentator and longtime Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten for standing around on a run play in the closing minutes of a loss to the Oakland Raiders on "Monday Night Football."
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs could have taken this week off, assured of not only their third consecutive AFC West title but also the No. 1 seed in the playoffs before the Oakland Raiders came to town.
Instead, they'll have everything on the line Sunday.
OAKLAND (4-11) at KANSAS CITY (11-4)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
OPENING LINE — Chiefs by 14
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Raiders 6-9; Chiefs 8-6-1
SERIES RECORD — Chiefs lead 64-53-2
LAST MEETING — Chiefs beat Raiders 40-33, Dec. 2
LAST WEEK — Raiders beat Broncos 27-14; Chiefs lost to Seahawks 38-31
AP PRO32 RANKING — Raiders No. 31; Chiefs No. 4
RAIDERS OFFENSE — OVERALL (22), RUSH (26), PASS (16)
RAIDERS DEFENSE — OVERALL (25), RUSH (30), PASS (14)
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Philip Rivers is an Oakland Raiders fan this week, sort of.
Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers can win the AFC West and secure home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs by beating Denver and having the Raiders defeat Kansas City on Sunday.
The Chargers can also take the division title, a first-round bye and home field with a tie against the Broncos and a Chiefs loss.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes awoke early on Tuesday to open presents with his little sister and the rest of his family, then the Chiefs quarterback hopped in his car for a quick trip to Arrowhead Stadium.
Where he watched film. On Christmas.
He got in his usual couple of hours of game-week prep on what is typically a day off for NFL teams, then hopped back in his car and headed home for the family feast.
Barring ties in Week 17 — and there are some wild scenarios should certain games end in draws Sunday — the road to the playoffs is quite straight in the NFC. The path to a first-round bye in the AFC has a bunch of curves in it.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs had a chance to wrap up a third consecutive AFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs with two weeks to go, only to watch Philip Rivers lead the Los Angeles Chargers to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns in a comeback.
The Chiefs got a do-over Sunday night in Seattle, only to watch Russell Wilson and the Seahawks shred defensive coordinator Bob Sutton's much-maligned bunch in a 38-31 victory.
SEATTLE (AP) — For the second straight week, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs faltered in their attempt to send the entire AFC playoffs through Arrowhead Stadium.
Rather than a relaxing Week 17 with a chance to rest players headed into the postseason, the Chiefs must avoid one more stumble that could cost them a division title and homefield advantage.
It's Week 16 of the NFL schedule, which always means several teams can secure playoff berths.
New Orleans, Kansas City, Chicago and the Los Angeles Chargers already have qualified.
New England wins its 10th successive AFC East title with a victory or tie at home against Buffalo, or Miami losing or drawing with Jacksonville.
Houston takes the AFC South by beating the Eagles in Philadelphia. It earns at least a wild-card spot with a Pittsburgh loss at New Orleans.
For interconference matchups in the next-to-last week of the season, the NFL couldn't have done much better. Pittsburgh at New Orleans, Houston at Philadelphia, Kansas City at Seattle, and Washington at Tennessee all had significant playoff implications.
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — The quarterback matchup for Saturday's pivotal game between the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers might offer the biggest contrasts this season.
The Chargers, who have clinched their first postseason berth since 2013, feature cagy veteran Philip Rivers, who is having one of the best seasons of his 15-year career. The Ravens have surged back into postseason contention behind fleet-footed rookie Lamar Jackson, who has won four of his five starts.
KANSAS CITY (11-3) at SEATTLE (8-6)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. EST, NBC
OPENING LINE — Chiefs by 2 1/2
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Kansas City 8-5-1, Seattle 8-4-2
SERIES RECORD —Chiefs lead 33-18
LAST MEETING — Chiefs beat Seahawks 24-20, Nov. 16, 2014
LAST WEEK -- Chiefs lost to Chargers 29-28; Seahawks lost to 49ers 26-23, OT
AP PRO32 RANKING — Chiefs No. 3, Seahawks No. 10
CHIEFS OFFENSE — OVERALL (1), RUSH (16), PASS (2).
CHIEFS DEFENSE — OVERALL (31), RUSH (26), PASS (32).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs coach Andy Reid delivered some promising news Wednesday when he rattled off the list of players who wouldn't be practicing for this weekend's trip to Seattle and running back Spencer Ware and offensive lineman Cam Erving were missing.
When they meet Saturday night in one of several intriguing games in the penultimate week of the NFL season, the Ravens and Chargers will be chasers. By Sunday night, they could be leaders.
Baltimore (8-6) trails Pittsburgh (8-5-1) by a half-game in the AFC North. The Chargers (11-3) are tied with Kansas City for the AFC West lead — and the conference's best record — but the Chiefs hold the tiebreaker.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers can no longer be overlooked, whether it is on the list of Super Bowl contenders or as a headline attraction in their own town.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs will have 10 days to stew over Mike Williams' touchdown catch, Philip Rivers' wave as he trotted off the field and the golden opportunity they let slip away Thursday night.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Eric Berry made his long-awaited return to the field, Chris Jones piled up some more sacks to match an NFL record, and the Kansas City Chiefs' maligned defense finally looked like a dominant force for a while.
Or at least, one that wouldn't hold back their high-powered offense.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon joined his backup Austin Ekeler on the inactive list for their high-profile AFC West showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.
Gordon and Ekeler combined for 103 yards rushing and 189 yards receiving when the teams met in Los Angeles to open the season. But after Gordon tested his injured knee in warmups, he conferred with coach Anthony Lynn and general manager Tom Telesco and shook his head, "No."
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs are missing their star running back, likely without his backup and could have their top two wide receivers hobbled or shelved for their crucial AFC West showdown against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (10-3) at KANSAS CITY (11-2)
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, Fox/NFLN/Amazon
OPENING LINE — Chiefs by 3 1/2
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Los Angeles 7-6, Kansas City 8-4
SERIES RECORD — Chiefs lead 61-55-1
LAST MEETING — Chiefs beat Chargers 38-28, Sept. 9
LAST WEEK — Chargers beat Bengals 26-21; Chiefs beat Ravens 27-24, OT
AP PRO32 RANKING — Chargers No. 4, Chiefs No. 1
CHARGERS OFFENSE — OVERALL (6), RUSH (12), PASS (9)
CHARGERS DEFENSE — OVERALL (8), RUSH (12), PASS (6)
NEW YORK (AP) — Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes has had a special season so far.
A league-leading 43 touchdown passes.
A no-look pass against the Baltimore Ravens.
And he has led the Chiefs to the top of latest AP Pro32 poll .
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers didn't have much time to celebrate reaching double-digit wins for the first time in nine seasons.
While most teams get 24 hours to savor a victory, the Chargers spent about 24 minutes to revel in their 26-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals before preparations began for Thursday's pivotal AFC West matchup at Kansas City.
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers had every reason to be susceptible to a trap game against Cincinnati.
The Chargers were coming off an emotional, come-from-behind victory against Pittsburgh last Sunday and a key AFC West showdown at Kansas City was fast approaching.
Sunday's 26-21 victory over the Bengals was not one of Los Angeles' best-played games of the season, but it does improve the record to 10-3 going into Thursday night's game against the 11-2 Chiefs for the division lead.
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers are coming off a 16-point comeback victory at Pittsburgh and have a crucial AFC West showdown next week at Kansas City. Before Anthony Lynn's team can turn attention toward the Chiefs, there is the matter of taking care of the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Andy Reid has always been considered an offensive-minded head coach, whether it's because he played along the offensive line in college or tutored the likes of Brett Favre once he reached the NFL.
So his response wasn't all that surprising this week when the Chiefs coach was asked who generally comes out on top when an potent offense goes up against a shutdown defense.
"This thing is based on a point system," Reid said with a wry grin. "Pretty simple there."
Sorry, Yogi. Maybe it is over before it's over.
Just look at most of the NFL division races.
The NFC West will be over if Seattle loses at Carolina on Sunday. The AFC West looks done in favor of Kansas City.
Both South divisions are runaways for the Saints in the NFC, the Texans — yes, the formerly 0-3 Texans — in the AFC.
Pittsburgh appears to be more in a race for the top overall AFC seed than any challenge in the North. Chicago has a choke hold on the NFC North.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Derek Carr had appeared to pass Philip Rivers in the pecking order of AFC West quarterbacks two years ago. He put together a season worthy of MVP consideration while Rivers led the NFL in interceptions on the way to a last-place finish.
Carr looked like one of the NFL's up-and-coming stars, while Rivers seemed to be on the downside of a career that started in 2004.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — In a jubilant locker room deep within Arrowhead Stadium, a young man impeccably dressed who looked as if he'd stepped out of a college classroom greeted Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins with a brilliant smile and an enthusiastic high-five.
Watkins had just had another standout performance in another Chiefs win, and Brett Veach no doubt felt a bit of satisfaction that his much-panned free-agent acquisition was paying such dividends.
The surging Pittsburgh Steelers and the slumping Baltimore Ravens are among the NFL teams kicking off Week 9.
The AFC North-leading Steelers (4-2-1) are aiming for their fourth straight win on the road against the division rival Ravens (4-4), who have lost three of four.
Gregg Williams has a challenging debut as Cleveland's interim head coach as the Browns (2-5-1) host the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs, who are a conference-best 7-1.
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Oakland and the Los Angeles Chargers both come into Sunday's game ranked in the Top 10 in total offense. The matchup between AFC West rivals is likely to come down to who has the greatest success running the ball.
DENVER (AP) — Patrick Mahomes is athletic, agile — and ambidextrous, apparently.
Thanks in part to a nifty left-handed throw as he was about to get sacked by Von Miller at midfield on the game-winning drive, the right-handed Mahomes rallied the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs past the Denver Broncos 27-23 on Monday night.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes had just finished with a series of patients in the oncology unit at the University of Kansas Hospital when he stepped on an escalator that would carry him to the exits.
Waiting for him at the bottom was a mob of hospital workers.
DENVER (AP) — The Denver Broncos have spent years trying to solve their tight end troubles.
Their inadequate coverage of tight ends and inability to get much production from their own are two of the biggest reasons they've fallen so far from their Super Bowl perch and have been looking up at the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West since 2016.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes finally gets to face a team in an environment that's familiar to him.
The Chiefs' hotshot quarterback takes his record-setting show to Denver on Monday night to face the Broncos, the team he made his debut against in Week 17 last season.
But whereas that game was mostly meaningless, with Kansas City assured of its playoff positioning and the Broncos' season over, the trip back holds plenty of significance for both clubs.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — It's a good thing Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes prefers takeout to dining in these days, because the first-year starter would be recognized in any restaurant in Kansas City.
Not just because of his Mohawk, either.
Mahomes is off to a record-setting start to the season, and he has the Chiefs at 2-0 heading into their home opener Sunday against San Francisco.