How the AFC West Was Won: Eight Stats That Led Chiefs to Undefeated Division Record

Here’s how the Chiefs won all six division games this season

When you go undefeated within your division, the chances of winning the division are pretty high.

While it still took a little help at the end, the fact is the Kansas City Chiefs took everyone's best shot this year and went through the AFC West with an unblemished 6-0 record, finishing undefeated within the division for the first time since 1995 (8-0).

Here are eight stats to know about how the Chiefs won the AFC West this season:

1.     The offense got it done

The Chiefs averaged 30.0 points per game against the division, outscoring opponents, 180-114. The only team in the NFL to average more points in divisional games was the Atlanta Falcons (38.5).

This marks the second time in the Andy Reid era that the Chiefs have averaged 30-plus points per game against the AFC West (31.2 in 2013).

The Chiefs also averaged 377.3 net yards per game against divisional opponents, which was their second-highest mark ever. They averaged 402.3 net yards per game in 2004. 

The 18 touchdowns scored against divisional opponents tied for fourth best in the NFL.

2.     The offense getting it done means quarterback Alex Smith got it done

Smith posted a 95.6 quarterback rating against the division this season, which is the fifth-best mark in team history. 

Smith's 1,581 yards passing against the AFC West were the most by a Chiefs quarterback since Trent Green in 2004 (1,719), and the second most ever in the four-team format.

Smith also completed 70 percent of his passes with a 7.74 yards per attempt average, which was the highest of any season in his four years with the team and was the eighth-best mark in the NFL this season among quarterbacks within divisional games. 

Led by Smith, the Chiefs had 13 passing plays of 25-plus yards against divisional opponents, their most since 2003 (14).

3.     They took care of business against the defending Super Bowl champs

The Chiefs swept the Broncos for the first time since 2000. 

The Broncos, who not only won the Super Bowl last year, had also won the division for five straight years.

4.     Tyreek Hill was good against everyone, but particularly good against divisional foes

Hill brought back two punts and a free kick for touchdowns against the AFC West—marking the first time the Chiefs had done that since 1995 and the first time ever in the division's current format (four teams).

Overall, Hill scored eight of his 12 touchdowns this season against divisional opponents. That was the most of any player in the league.

Only 11 players had as many as five scores against divisional teams, and Hill led with eight.

Overall, Chiefs special teams units averaged 34.2 yards per kick return in divisional games, which led the NFL, and they averaged 18.2 yards per punt return, which ranked second (Detroit, 21.0).

There were eight special teams touchdowns in divisional games across the NFL this season, and the Chiefs had three of them.

5.     The offensive line did its part in protecting Smith

When it came to protecting the quarterback, the Chiefs offensive line surrendered just 12 sacks in six divisional games, which is the fewest of any year in Smith's career thus far in Kansas City.

6.     Dee Ford and Chris Jones brought the pressure 

According to Pro Football Focus, Jones finished with 12 quarterback pressures in six divisional games, while Ford finished with 12 pressures in five games (missed game in Denver).

In his best game of the season, linebacker Justin Houston had three sacks and a forced fumble that led to a safety against the Broncos in Week 12 in Denver.

7.     Third down was good to the Chiefs 

Overall, the Chiefs are tied for 18th in the league by converting just 38 percent of their third-down opportunities, but against the division, the Chiefs rank fifth in the league by converting 46.4 percent of their third-down opportunities.

8.     The comeback kids

The Chiefs' five comeback wins against the AFC West this season are their most since 2000, and it all started with the Week 1 contest against the San Diego Chargers, when the Chiefs overcame a 24-3 deficit in the second half to win in overtime, 33-27.

It was Alex Smith's game-winning touchdown run in overtime that paved the way for an AFC West divisional title campaign. 

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