1 of 2
Denis Poroy, Associated Press
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers reacts on the sidelines in the closing minutes of the game against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010, in San Diego. The Raiders won, 28-13.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Head West, young man, and leave behind any notions of finding good football.

Only one of the 11 NFL teams west of the mighty Mississippi owns a winning record heading into the final four weeks of this oddball season — not counting New Orleans, which straddles the river that serves as the league's very own continental divide.

Yet, in this wild and wretched West, the only team that's already been eliminated from the playoff race is the Denver Broncos (3-9), who were vexed by an embarrassing videotape violation and a bad personnel moves that led to too many losses and cost coach Josh McDaniels his job this week.

Even the region's lone winners, the Kansas City Chiefs (8-4), have dealt with a fair amount of drama, from coach Todd Haley's handshake snub of McDaniels last month to quarterback Matt Cassel's emergency appendectomy on Wednesday.