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Why AFC West Is NFL's Most Unpredictable Division

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 01:  Head coach Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers talks to quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers during their game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on January 1, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Kevin AbblittCorrespondent IIIJune 20, 2012

Save your predictions and pre-season rankings for someone else. This is the AFC West, a division that prides itself on inconsistency.

Now that we are clear, take out your die pieces and give them a good toss because that is how we’re going to crown a division winner in 2012.

From 2006-2009, the Chargers were the face of the division. They made work of their opponents with their lucid running attack, and risk-reward deep balls that launched them into a plateau all by themselves.

Flash forward to 2012 and none of the aforementioned reasons remains true today. It's a cycle of hopelessness in San Diego. Not always does paper carry over to critical moments of games down the stretch as we have seen.

In the last three seasons, we have seen three different teams hoist the coveted AFC West division champion hardware.

Its hard to gauge the wavelengths of the Chargers and it is becoming a dead-beat theme to tab them the division champions year in and year out.

After 2011, Rivers has slowly begun to fade down Ron Jaworski’s quarterback board. Adding insult to injury, Rivers isn’t the only big man on campus in the division anymore. For the sake of Elway’s sanity, the Broncos lassoed in No. 18 causing a monumental shakeup in the landscape of the division.

Recently, NFL analyst, John Clayton, took the initiative to go as far as tabbing the Broncos to repeat as division winners once more in 2012 (h/t Bill Williamson of ESPN).

Despite friar Tebow flipping the pretenders label into contenders last season, I think a special nod has to be given to first year coach, John Fox. As he enters his second season with the team, he has begun to develop a solid core of talent to surround his legend quarterback.

Although the Broncos acquired one of the most celebrated individuals this off-season, Kansas City opened up their pocketbooks and strategically conducted a healthy off-season of their own. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and that couldn’t be more true for the Chiefs.

In 2010, Matt Cassel and company helped take the Chiefs to their first playoff appearance in seven years. The glory of 2010 never carried over into 2011. Needless to say, injuries decimated the team’s performance.

The Chiefs will return the likes of their rising stars in Jamaal Charles, Tony Moeaki and Eric Berry who all went down to season-ending injuries a year ago.

Trust in Cassel seems to be the threatening issue in Kansas City.

As for the silver and black, there were more alterations made to their coaching staff, rather than the necessary player personnel. This leads me to suggest that they are planning for the future. How much longer is the future? They haven't competed since Super Bowl XVIII.

Regardless, they have made themselves an irrelevant conversation starter in 2012.

From afar it just looks like one giant cluster of sorts. The AFC West is a three-headed monster, and there is no telling who will be the last man standing in 2012.

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