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Eric Decker assures Denver Broncos' AFC West dominance

It's tough to win on the road. It's even more difficult to do so at Arrowhead Stadium, where supremacy in the AFC West was at stake.


Greatest on the road ...

Eric Decker, Denver Broncos

Once upon a time (actually, four weeks ago), the Kansas City Chiefs were the NFL's last remaining unbeaten team. They were 9-0, sporting a stellar defense, a mistake-free offense and romancing fans with a worst-to-first storyline. Despite that 9-0 record, the Chiefs were holding off the Denver Broncos in the AFC West. And two of three games against Denver coming off a Week 10 bye would likely determine the division winner. The Chiefs have now lost three consecutive games, with two of those coming against the Broncos. Denver is now in complete control of the AFC West, and helping the Broncos rally to beat the Chiefs, 35-28, in Kansas City, and seize control of the division was Decker.

Decker scored four touchdowns. Three of those touchdowns came in the second half as the Broncos turned a 21-7 deficit into a 35-21 lead. Decker's day also included 174 receiving yards. It was the 13th time a Broncos player had three or more receiving touchdowns in a game. The others: Shannon Sharpe (three times), Ed McCaffrey (two times), Anthony Miller, Haven Moses, Bob Scarpitto, Rod Smith, Lionel Taylor, Demaryius Thomas and Steve Watson. Only four times in the past 25 seasons has a player had 150-plus receiving yards and four or more touchdowns (Jerry Rice, who did it twice; Terrell Owens and Decker).

With the win, the Broncosmaintained the AFC's best record and continue to control their own destiny for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

Also considered:

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals' 17-10 win over the San Diego Chargers was short on style points, but long on importance in the Bengals' quest to win the AFC North. With the Baltimore Ravens surging toward the season's final weeks, the Bengals needed a win to hold a clear edge in the division. A loss would have put the Ravens within a game of the Bengals, but a blue-collar, bring your lunch pail to the ol' ball yard sort of effort in San Diego allowed Cincinnati to maintain a two-game edge in the division.

Green's statline -- five receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown -- wasn't knock-your-socks-off awesome, but that one touchdown was vital. Quarterback Andy Dalton hit a wide-open Green late in the third quarter for what proved to be the game-winning score. Green is now one touchdown behind Isaac Curtis for the most in team history through the first three seasons of their career (26 to 25).

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Improving to 6-6, against the New York Jets no less, might not seem like the most impressive thing. But in the AFC's sub-elite undercarriage, it was crucial. With a 23-3 dumptrucking of the Jets at MetLife Stadium, the Dolphins vaulted into a tie with the Ravens for the AFC's No. 6 playoff seed. Of course, there's plenty of football yet to be played, but three of the Dolphins' remaining four opponents sport losing records (including a season finale against those same hapless Jets).

Tannehill anchored the win over the listless Jets, throwing for 331 yards and two touchdowns. That effort helped the Dolphins achieve a rare milestone in recent seasons: Entering December while still relevant in the playoff race.


Previous Greatness on the Road winners:

Follow Jim Reineking on Twitter @jimreineking.

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