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Originally published Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 8:11 PM

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Chiefs coach pulls team together for emotional win

One day after the shocking murder-suicide involving linebacker Jovan Belcher, the Kansas City Chiefs played their finest game of the season...

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One day after the shocking murder-suicide involving linebacker Jovan Belcher, the Kansas City Chiefs played their finest game of the season and defeated the Carolina Panthers 27-21.

No turnovers. Just one penalty. And almost to a man Sunday, they praised the leadership of their embattled coach, Romeo Crennel.

"It was tough, hard on him," said defensive lineman Shaun Smith. "I told him after the game I love him, because he's like my father. I could feel the pain and emotion that he was dealing with."

Crennel admitted the pain and shock of what he had witnessed would stay with him a long time.

"I felt like I would be able to handle it, and I knew I needed to be strong for the players in that locker room and they needed to see a strong, individual leader," he said.

Broncos, Patriots, Falcons win divisions

On the first weekend of December, four teams made the NFL playoffs.

With four weeks to go in the regular-season, New England owns the AFC East title, Denver has the AFC West and Atlanta won the NFC South.

Houston (11-1) secured at least a wild-card spot.

The Patriots (9-3) beat Miami 23-16 for their sixth straight win. It also was Tom Brady's 10th division title, the most for any quarterback in NFL history.

Denver (9-3) has won seven in a row after defeating Tampa Bay 31-23, and with that loss by the Bucs, the Falcons (11-1) were guaranteed their division title.

Speaking

"I can't say there are many Seattle fans in the locker room, but we appreciate the help." — Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers on the Seahawks' win over Chicago that gave the Packers a share of the division lead with the Bears.

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