AFC West: Chargers Should Runaway With Divison In '09

Matt KayContributor IMay 18, 2009

SAN DIEGO - MAY 03: Cornerbacks Antoine Cason #20 and Quentin Jammer #23 of the San Diego Chargers run wind sprints during minicamp at the Chargers training facility on May 3, 2009 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevin Terrell/Getty Images)

The West was arguably the weakest division in the AFC last season, and it's arguably going to be the weakest this season, too.

Last season, the West’s San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, and Kansas City combined for 23 wins—the fewest combined victories of any AFC division as a whole.

San Diego was the lone squad in the division to make the playoffs with a mediocre 8-8 record.

Denver squandered the divisional title with a three-game lead with just three weeks remaining in the season.

Oakland won five games and it used a two-game win streak in Weeks 16 and 17 to record the sixth-worst record in all of football.

Kansas City finished the season on a four-game losing streak and put together just two wins throughout the entire season.

And sadly, the biggest disappoint in the division came from the team that ended up on top.

I predicted the Chargers to win 13 games last season.

So I was wrong. No big deal.

But I also predicted the Chargers to win the Super Bowl.

So I was wrong. Again. No big deal.

I did, however, write that “The AFC West has not been a competitive division since 2005.”

And unless you consider the 8-8 battle been the Chargers and the Broncos as “competitive,” that statement still holds true.

Moreover, that statement should hold true at the end of this season.

More likely than not, the AFC West will send just one team to the playoffs. Again.

Between the division, the Chiefs are the obvious ultra long shot on the board.

It would take a miracle for Kansas City to win this division, let alone be a Wild Card.

And for the record, Matt Cassel is not a miracle worker. The Patriots would have won games last season with any quarterback under center. Except for JaMarcus Russell or Tyler Thigpen, that is.

Speaking of Russell, if the Raiders start him again this season, they will not make the playoffs. They will not win eight games. The Raiders’ only hope is to start newly acquired Jeff Garcia and pray for a Wild Card bid.

If the Silver and Black wants to commit to excellence, it can’t commit to Russell at this point in his career.

And it’s hard to imagine the Broncos will be able to steal the division with Kyle Orton when they couldn’t do it with Jay Cutler.

While it’s way to soon to throw out Super Bowl predictions, it seems safe to say that the Chargers will win the weak West. Again. And no Wild Card will represent the weak West. Again.