The Denver Broncos are pushing the Kansas City Chiefs in the West

Denver is nipping at the Chiefs' heels, and it's time to acknowledge the AFC West is at stake.

Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs v Denver Broncos / Justin Tafoya/GettyImages

Back in October, many of us had already chalked up the race for the AFC West as over as the Kansas City Chiefs had a substantial lead over the Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, and Los Angeles Chargers who all had a losing record while the Chiefs sat at 6-1. Fast forward to mid-December, and the Chiefs have now most of that ground, while the Broncos of all teams are now one game back of the division.

A scenario that is now on the table that none of us thought possible: losing the AFC West in 2023. Wait, what!? Yeah, that's correct. The AFC West is now up for grabs due to the fact the Kansas City Chiefs have lost four of their last six dating back to their embarrassing loss to the Broncos in Denver. That was the first win for Denver after watching the Chiefs beat them 16 consecutive times coming into that game.

The warning signs first began with that loss to Denver in Week 8 and the alarm bells have been ringing since that game with this Chiefs team and its offense. However, when that loss occurred you still heard your majority of Chiefs Kingdom saying, "It's fine." Responses like that were still valid at the time, but this late in the season, the Chiefs are still having the same issues. Folks, this is no longer an unlucky stretch, this team simply isn't very good.

Denver is nipping at the Chiefs' heels, and it's time to acknowledge the AFC West is at stake.

Chiefs fans have long given this organization the benefit of the doubt as they've certainly earned it with multiple Super Bowl appearances and two victories in the last five years. Most of this confidence also comes from the fact that the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. Despite the rough season and seemingly declining expectations, it's a duo that nobody truly wants to line up across from in the postseason.

Unfortunately, these issues don't seem fixable this time around. What is going on with the Chiefs offense is not schematical but rather a talent and coaching issue. That's beside the point, though. The reality for Chiefs fans is that this team doesn't have what it takes for a deep playoff run at this time and those issues are now no longer about what a playoff run would look like, but if making the playoffs is even a guarantee along with winning the AFC West. Many Chiefs fans don't seem to want to accept the reality of the team's issues until it hits them in the face for some reason.

Even after last night's loss to the Buffalo Bills to drop to 8-5, you would still see a lot of the same optimistic fans saying things like, "They'll still win the AFC West". Are you sure about that? Let me repeat, the Denver Broncos are one game back of the Kansas City Chiefs for the division. One.

People will point to the Chiefs' schedule down the stretch and how they realistically should win out, but the Chiefs should've done a lot of things this season. They should've beat the Detroit Lions in Week 1, they should've beat the Green Bay Packers last week, etc. The list goes on, but eventually, you can't ignore the facts and the facts are this team shouldn't be guaranteed anything because when you turn the ball over at an exponential rate and your offense struggles to even break 20 points every week, you can lose to anyone. That goes for every team left on the Chiefs' schedule. If you give possessions to the other team and can't score points yourself, you can lose to anyone.

Sure, you can sit there and act like everything is going to be alright and it may very well be and the Chiefs win the rest of their games left on the schedule. We're all hoping for that. At this point, it is simply ignorant to pretend that the Denver Broncos don't have a chance to overtake the Chiefs in the AFC West. To pretend that it isn't a possibility is silly. The Broncos are playing their best football of the season right now meanwhile the Chiefs are playing their worst football of the season and that's a recipe for disaster. Denver is nipping at the Chiefs' heels, and it's time to acknowledge the AFC West is at stake.