AFC West Belongs to Kansas City Chiefs, Not the San Diego Chargers

John BartramCorrespondent IIOctober 18, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 13:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers audibles during the 1st quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 13, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

History is not an indicator of the future.  It seems, however, in the world of the NFL according to the "experts" and pundits that's exactly how it works.

The San Diego Chargers are now 2-4.  They have lost to the Oakland Raiders, Saint Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs, all on the road.  At home, they handily beat the Jacksonville Jaguars and Arizona Cardinals.

When they were 2-3 it was because they were the "Chargers."  They always do that.  They'll rip off six or seven or more wins in a row and run away from the rest of the division.

What will their record have to be for their fortunes to change?  Maybe 2-5?  How about 3-8?  I don't know, but it seems as though the media is going to stick with them for quite a while.

Kansas City, on the other hand, is 3-2.  They have beat the Chargers, Browns and 49ers.  They lost to the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans, both on the road.  Most people around the NFL acknowledge in both those losses the Chiefs showed a great deal of growth and maturity.

Phillip Rivers is a great quarterback.  He is not the only one with talent on the team.  They are consistently picked as a "Super Bowl contender."  They have never lived up to that. 

Kansas City does not deserve instant respect.  No team that wins 10 games in three years does.  Despite that, they have shown more stability and growth than the Chargers.  Yet, it is still the Chargers' division, according to many.

It should be clear that the Chiefs and Chargers are going in opposite directions.  The Chiefs are getting much better, and will continue to do so over the course of the season, and beyond.  It remains uncertain what the Chargers will do.

Of course, I have failed to mention Denver.  They beat Seattle and Tennessee.  They've lost to Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Baltimore and the New York Jets.  Clearly a tougher road than the Chargers have had so far.

Both the Chargers and Broncos have had a couple of very tough losses, as have the Chiefs.  That's the nature of sports in general.

By all counts, the Chiefs and Broncos have the more difficult parts of their schedules behind them.  That cannot be said for the Chargers.  They still have the Patriots, Colts, Texans and Titans to deal with.  I have left all the divisional games off for obvious reasons.

There have actually been very few inter-divisional games in the AFC West.  There will be many coming up, including this weekend in Denver.  Obviously all division games can change things very quickly.

I have left off any analysis of the Raiders because I do not believe they are ready to contend.  They still have too many question marks.  Although, with three of four teams at 2-3, nobody can say for sure.

All of that said, like it or not, the Chiefs are 3-2 and have already beaten the Chargers.  Kyle Orton is having an MVP type season.  I believe them to be far more of a threat in the AFC West than the Chargers.

I do not think this division belongs to the Chargers.  In fact, I think they will finish third, behind Kansas City and the Denver Broncos. 

You simply cannot keep losing and saying it's OK, we'll win when we have to.  Not this year.  Kansas City is going to have the last word.

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