West teams aren’t inspiring fan bases for playoffs

Don’t go West, young man. You might be scarred for life watching such bad football.

To gauge just how woeful the NFC and AFC West divisions are, one only needs to look as far as the Cardinals and Broncos.

The Cards are the NFC West champs, yet were stomped by the Patriots today for their second loss in a row and third in their last six games. The Broncos, who need a win to wrap up the AFC West crown, have made it look far too difficult against the Bills, who have nothing to play for in frigid Invesco Field at Mile High. The Bills showed up with little interest in playing. They looked pathetic on both sides of the ball. Yet the Broncos, despite dominating in yards and time of possession, have proceeded to do everything in their power to let them hang around.

If you’re a legitimate playoff team, you deliver the knockout punch when the opponent is reeling and ready to fall. Even if the Broncos hang on for a victory, there‚Äôs a decent chance they will be viewed as a team taking up a postseason spot that a more deserving club — such as the Patriots, who could win 11 games yet miss the playoffs — should have.

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