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AFC West
Conference American Football Conference
League National Football League
Sport American football
Founded 1960 (as the American Football League Western Division)
No. of teams
Most recent champion(s) Denver Broncos (13th title)
Most titles Tie: Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers (15 titles)

The AFC West is a division of the National Football League's American Football Conference, currently comprising the Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Oakland Raiders.

The division has sent teams to the Super Bowl fourteen times beginning with Super Bowl I vs. Green Bay. The Raiders entering 2014 lead in Super Bowl wins with a 3–2 record; the Broncos presently are 2–5 in Super Bowls; the Chiefs are 1–1 while the Chargers went winless in Super Bowl XXIX, their lone Super Bowl appearance.

Entering 2014, the Raiders lead the division with a record of 434–375–11 and an overall playoff record of 25–18. The Broncos record is 432–378–10 with a playoff record of 18–17 entering 2013's postseason. The Chiefs record is 415–393–12; with their 45-44 loss in the 2013 playoffs Kansas City's playoff record stood at 8–15 entering 2014. The Chargers record is 408–401–11 with a playoff record of 11–16.

Denver, Kansas City, and San Diego all made the playoffs for the 2013 season.

History[edit]

The division was formed in 1960 as the American Football League's Western Division. In 1970, as part of the new NFL's two-conference, six-division alignment, the AFL West entered the merged league more or less intact as the AFC West.

The original AFL West had four members – the Dallas Texans (who moved to Kansas City in 1963 as the Chiefs), Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers (who moved to San Diego in 1961) and Oakland Raiders. These four teams have remained in the AFL/AFC West since its inception, and are currently the only teams in the division. Largely because of this, and the fact they have played each other twice a year for over half a century, the entire division is considered one very large and very heated rivalry. When the Raiders played in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1994, they remained in the AFC West.

The Cincinnati Bengals played the last two AFL seasons in the AFL West despite being further east than Houston, where the Houston Oilers played at the time and were members of the AFC East. The Bengals (along with the Oilers) moved to the AFC Central (formerly the NFL Century, now the AFC North) in 1970, instantly forming rivalries with the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 1977, the Seattle Seahawks were added to the AFC West after spending their expansion season in the NFC West; they would move back to the NFC West in 2002. The first-year Tampa Bay Bucs in 1976 played as a member of the AFC West before being aligned into the NFC Central in 1977.

Each of the four AFC West teams won a division title in the first four years of the realignment – Oakland in 2002, Kansas City in 2003, San Diego in 2004 and Denver in 2005. It is the only one of the eight NFL divisions to have all of its teams win titles in the first four seasons of the North-East-West-South format.

ESPN's Chris Berman often calls this division the "AFC Smythe" due to its geographical similarity to the old Smythe Division of the NHL, now succeeded by the Pacific division.

In the early and mid-2000s, the division was often cited as one of the NFL's "Toughest Divisions"[1][2][3] due partially to the home-field advantages of Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Arrowhead Stadium, Qualcomm Stadium and the Oakland Coliseum, although in 2008 the division was the NFL's weakest since the AFC Central in 1985 by sending the San Diego Chargers to the playoffs as division winners with an 8–8 record while the New England Patriots missed out at 11–5 after losing out on tiebreakers for both the AFC East and the wild-card. The division was very weak in 2011 as well, when a loss by the Raiders in the last game of the season gave the Broncos the division title with only an 8-8 record. Only the NFC West in 2010 has historically sent a worse division winner to the playoffs, when the Seahawks (themselves a former AFC West member) won that division with a 7-9 record.

Along with the AFC (formerly AFL) East, the AFC West is the oldest NFL division in terms of creation date (1960).

Division lineups[edit]

Place cursor over year for division champ or Super Bowl team.

     Team not in division      Division Won AFL Championship      Division Won AFL Championship, Lost Super Bowl      Division Won AFC Championship      Division Won Super Bowl
AFL Western Division NFL AFC West Division
Years
60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01
Dallas Texans Kansas City Chiefs [A]
Denver Broncos
L A Chargers San Diego Chargers [B]
Oakland Raiders Los Angeles Raiders [C] Oakland Raiders
  Cincinnati
Bengals
[D]
  Tampa Bay
Bucs
[E]
Seattle Seahawks[F]
NFL AFC West Division
02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43
Kansas City Chiefs
Denver Broncos
San Diego Chargers
Oakland Raiders
A Dallas Texans moved team to Kansas City, Missouri and are subsequently renamed Kansas City Chiefs (1963 season)
B Los Angeles Chargers moved team to San Diego (1961 season)
C Oakland Raiders moved team to Los Angeles (1982 season). The team returned to Oakland for the 1995 season.
D Cincinnati Bengals enfranchised (1968 season). After 1970 merger with NFL, the team was moved to the AFC Central.
E Tampa Bay was enfranchised in 1976. The Bucs were moved to the NFC Central after one year(1977 season). The NFC Central was reorganized after the 2001 season.
F Seattle Seahawks moved into AFC West from the NFC West division (1977 Season). In 2002 they moved back to the NFC West.

Division champions[edit]

Season Team Record Playoff Results
1960 Los Angeles Chargers 10–4–0 Lost AFL Championship Game
1961 San Diego Chargers 12–2–0 Lost AFL Championship Game
1962 Dallas Texans 11–3–0 Won AFL Championship Game
1963 San Diego Chargers 11–3–0 Won AFL Championship Game
1964 San Diego Chargers 8–5–1 Lost AFL Championship Game
1965 San Diego Chargers 9–2–3 Lost AFL Championship Game
1966 Kansas City Chiefs 11–2–1 Won AFL Championship Game, Lost Super Bowl I
1967 Oakland Raiders 13–1–0 Won AFL Championship Game, Lost Super Bowl II
1968 Oakland Raiders 12–2–0 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFL Championship Game
1969 Oakland Raiders 12–1–1 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFL Championship Game
1970 Oakland Raiders 8–4–2 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFC Championship Game
1971 Kansas City Chiefs 10–3–1 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
1972 Oakland Raiders 10–3–1 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
1973 Oakland Raiders 9–4–0 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFC Championship Game
1974 Oakland Raiders 12–2–0 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFC Championship Game
1975 Oakland Raiders 11–3–0 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFC Championship Game
1976 Oakland Raiders 13–1–0 Won Divisional and AFC Championship Games, Won Super Bowl XI0
1977 Denver Broncos 12–2–0 Won Divisional and AFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XII
1978 Denver Broncos 10–6–0 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
1979 San Diego Chargers 12–4–0 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
1980 San Diego Chargers 11–5–0 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFC Championship Game
1981 San Diego Chargers 10–6–0 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFC Championship Game
1982# Los Angeles Raiders 8–1–0 Won AFC First Round, Lost AFC Second Round
1983 Los Angeles Raiders 12–4–0 Won Divisional and AFC Championship Games, Won Super Bowl XVIII0
1984 Denver Broncos 13–3–0 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
1985 Los Angeles Raiders 12–4–0 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
1986 Denver Broncos 11–5–0 Won Divisional and AFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XXI
1987 Denver Broncos 10–4–1 Won Divisional and AFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XXII
1988 Seattle Seahawks 9–7–0 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
1989 Denver Broncos 11–5–0 Won Divisional and AFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XXIV
1990 Los Angeles Raiders 12–4–0 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFC Championship Game
1991 Denver Broncos 12–4–0 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFC Championship Game
1992 San Diego Chargers 11–5–0 Won Wild Card Playoff, Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
1993 Kansas City Chiefs 11–5–0 Won Wild Card and Divisional Playoffs, Lost AFC Championship Game
1994 San Diego Chargers 11–5–0 Won Divisional and AFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XXIX
1995 Kansas City Chiefs 13–3–0 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
1996 Denver Broncos 13–3–0 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
1997 Kansas City Chiefs 13–3–0 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
1998 Denver Broncos 14–2–0 Won Divisional and AFC Championship Games, Won Super Bowl XXXIII0
1999 Seattle Seahawks 9–7–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
2000 Oakland Raiders 12–4–0 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFC Championship Game
2001 Oakland Raiders 10–6–0 Won Wild Card Playoff, Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
2002 Oakland Raiders 11–5–0 Won Divisional and AFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XXXVII
2003 Kansas City Chiefs 13–3–0 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
2004 San Diego Chargers 12–4–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
2005 Denver Broncos 13–3–0 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFC Championship Game
2006 San Diego Chargers 14–2–0 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
2007 San Diego Chargers 11–5–0 Won Wild Card and Divisional Playoffs, Lost AFC Championship Game
2008 San Diego Chargers 8–8–0 Won Wild Card Playoff, Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
2009 San Diego Chargers 13–3–0 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
2010 Kansas City Chiefs 10–6–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
2011 Denver Broncos 8–8–0 Won Wild Card Playoff, Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
2012 Denver Broncos 13–3–0 Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
2013 Denver Broncos 13–3–0 Won Divisional and AFC Championship Games, Lost Super Bowl XLVIII
  • !The Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs tied for the regular season division title at 12–2–0. The Raiders won the ensuing playoff game to represent the West in the AFL Championship Game.
  • #A players' strike in 1982 reduced the regular season to nine games. Thus, the league used a special 16-team playoff tournament just for this year. Division standings were ignored, the Los Angeles Raiders had the best record of the division teams.

Wild Card qualifiers[edit]

Season Team Record Playoff Results
1969# Kansas City Chiefs 11–3–0 Won Interdivisional and AFL Championship Games, Won Super Bowl IV0
1977 Oakland Raiders 11–3–0 Won Divisional Playoff, Lost AFC Championship Game
1979 Denver Broncos 10–6–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
1980 Oakland Raiders 11–5–0 Won Wild Card, Divisional and AFC Championship Games, Won Super Bowl XV0
1982+ San Diego Chargers 6–3–0 Won AFC First Round, Lost AFC Second Round
1983 Seattle Seahawks
Denver Broncos
9–7–0
9–7–0
Won Wild Card and Divisional Playoffs, Lost AFC Championship Game
Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
1984 Seattle Seahawks
Los Angeles Raiders
12–4–0
11–5–0
Won Wild Card Playoffs, Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
1986 Kansas City Chiefs 10–6–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
1987 Seattle Seahawks 9–6–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
1990 Kansas City Chiefs 11–5–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
1991 Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Raiders
10–6–0
9–7–0
Won Wild Card Playoffs, Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
1992 Kansas City Chiefs 10–6–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
1993 Los Angeles Raiders
Denver Broncos
10–6–0
9–7–0
Won Wild Card Playoffs, Lost AFC Divisional Playoffs
Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
1994 Kansas City Chiefs 9–7–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
1995 San Diego Chargers 9–7–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
1997 Denver Broncos 12–4–0 Won Wild Card, Divisional and AFC Championship Games, Won Super Bowl XXXII0
2000 Denver Broncos 11–5–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
2003 Denver Broncos 10–6–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
2004 Denver Broncos 10–6–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
2006 Kansas City Chiefs 9–7–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
2010 Kansas City Chiefs 10–6–0 Lost AFC Wild Card Playoffs
2013 Kansas City Chiefs 11-5–0 Lost AFC Wild Card
2013 San Diego Chargers 9-7–0 Won AFC Wild Card, Lost AFC Divisional

# In 1969, The Western Division 2nd place team played the Eastern Division 1st place team in an Interdivisional game.

  • A players' strike in 1982 reduced the regular season to nine games. Thus, the league used a special 16-team playoff tournament just for this year. Division standings were ignored, the Los Angeles Raiders had the best record of the division teams.

See also[edit]

Total playoff berths[edit]

  • Through 2012 season
Team Division
Championships
Playoff
Berths
AFL League
Title
Conference
Wins
Super Bowl
Wins
Total
Championships
Oakland Raiders 15 21 1 4 3 4
San Diego Chargers 15 17 1 1 0 1
Kansas City Chiefs 8 16 3 0 1 31
Denver Broncos 13 20 0 6 2 2
1Chiefs Super Bowl 4 win was before AFL/NFL Merger and did not determine the league championship.

References[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AFC_West — Please support Wikipedia.
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