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The Best Season From Every AFC West Team

AFC Best Teams
© Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There have been several great teams throughout the history of the NFL. Every team has had its share of highlight moments, dream seasons, and dominant performances.

This is the fourth installment of every NFL team's best season by division, now with the AFC West.

Denver Broncos: 1998

A year after winning the franchise's first Super Bowl, the '98 Denver Broncos won their first 13 games and finished the regular season with a 14-2 record. Denver's regular season was highlighted by Hall of Fame running back Terrell Davis, who won league MVP honors after rushing for 2,008 yards and scoring 23 touchdowns. Davis became the third running back to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. Receivers Ed McCaffrey and Rod Smith each recorded 1,000-yard seasons, while Hall-of-Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe's 10 touchdown catches tied Smith for the league lead.

AFC Best Teams

Denver's underrated defense, led by Hall-of-Fame safety Steve Atwater, allowed just 13 total points in the Broncos' playoff wins over the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. In Super Bowl XXXIII, with the Atlanta Falcons' defense geared up to stop Davis, the Broncos instead showcased the talents of Hall-of-Fame quarterback John Elway. He threw for 336 yards while scoring 2 touchdowns in his final NFL game. The Broncos became the sixth franchise to win back-to-back Super Bowls. 

Kansas City Chiefs: 2019

After a 7-4 start, the Kansas City Chiefs won their final nine games, including a 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. Patrick Mahomes, the league's MVP the previous season, became the first player in league history to win a league and Super Bowl MVP before his 25th birthday.

AFC Best Teams
© Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

While Mahomes was a major reason for their first championship in 50 years, the Chiefs were hardly a one-man show.

Alongside Mahomes, the Chiefs' 2019 roster featured 5 other Pro Bowlers in receiver Tyreek Hill, tight end Travis Kelce (97 catches, 1,229 yards), defensive linemen Chris Jones and Frank Clark, and safety Tyrann Mathieu.

Las Vegas Raiders: 1976

After losing in three of the previous four AFC title games, John Madden's Oakland Raiders finally broke through in 1976. They defeated their rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in the AFC Championship Game before routing the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl XI, 32-14. Oakland's offense was loaded with star power. It featured six future Hall of Fame players: quarterback Ken Stabler, receivers Cliff Branch and Fred Biletnikoff, tight end Dave Casper, and offensive linemen Art Shell and Gene Upshaw.

The Raiders' intimidating defense featured a pair of future Hall of Famers in linebacker Ted Hendricks and cornerback Willie Brown, whose 75-yard interception put the exclamation point on the Raiders' Super Bowl win. Oakland's defense featured Pro Bowl linebacker Phil Villapiano, corner Skip "Dr. Death" Thomas, and safeties George Atkinson and Jack "The Assassin" Tatum.

Los Angeles Chargers: 1963

This Los Angeles Chargers team might not be as impactful considering it wasn’t playing at anything close to the NFL we saw after the merger. But this team was loaded, featuring the likes of future Hall of Famers in offensive lineman Ron Mix and receiver Lance Alworth. Coach Sid Gillman assembled a roster laden with Pro Bowlers to complement Mix and Alworth: quarterback Tobin Rote, running backs Paul Lowe and Keith Lincoln, defensive end Earl Faison and linebacker Chuck Allen.

AFC Best Team
© Darryl Norenberg-USA TODAY Sports

This team would also produce legendary Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll, who would win four Super Bowls with the Steelers and create the infamous “Steel Curtain” defense. The ‘63 Chargers, led by Keith Lincoln’s performance in the AFL Championship Game, would destroy the Boston Patriots 51-10, completing the journey that led them to be one of the darling teams of the early days of football.


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