One thing about the AFC West this season is nothing and I do mean nothing is written in stone. We all started out the season expecting the San Diego Chargers to run away with the division. We expected very little if anything out Of the Denver Broncos, and Oakland Raiders, and had just about written the Kansas City Chiefs off entirely.
Fast forward three weeks:
Kansas City is sitting pretty at 3-0 having a win over San Diego already behind them. Denver, Oakland and San Diego are all at 1-2. There is a lot of head scratching going on wondering how this happened and if the Chiefs were for real.
Kansas City takes their bye. Denver and San Diego close in a little with wins over Tennessee and Arizona respectively. Oakland loses to Houston. It looks like San Diego is okay after all and Denver might even be a threat this year. Poor Oakland just isn't going to amount to much.
San Diego goes to Oakland for a loss and Denver falls to the Ravens. and Kansas City fails to put up a win in Indianapolis. Kansas City has a one game lead with Oakland in 2nd being the only other team with a division win. Now San Diego looks like the team in trouble.
Kansas City loses an offensive shootout in Houston, and Denver, San Diego, and Oakland all follow suit with close losses of their own to New York, St Louis and unbelievably to San Francisco. At this point we're wondering if Kansas City can go the distance and if Oakland's win over San Diego was just home field advantage talking.
Interesting Fact: All four games were decided by 8 points or less.
Oakland blows out Denver. Kansas City puts away Jacksonville. San Diego loses a battle with New England. So now we're thinking Denver and San Diego aren't going anywhere and the way to the West is through Oakland and Kansas City.
San Diego surprises us by beating Tennessee. Oakland has another blow out win against Seattle this time. Denver follows Oakland's lead and loses to San Francisco and Kansas City struggles to put away win less Buffalo.
At this point we have a lot of questions to ask:
Is this a turnaround for Oakland or a fluke? Is Kansas City faltering or is Buffalo improving? Is San Diego going to fall behind or catch up? Are Denver's post season hopes gone?
Denver takes their bye. Kansas City travels to Oakland and loses what was perhaps the battle of the season. San Diego travels to Houston and does what neither Oakland nor Kansas City could, puts up a win. Now Oakland fans are crying world domination (that's an exaggeration but you get the idea). Kansas City is looking shaky, and San Diego is right back in it. Unbelievably Denver may not be done either.
Both San Diego AND Oakland take their byes. If Denver beats Kansas City they are right back in it and the West is up for grabs again. If not Kansas City takes back a half game of their lead.
This has been a crazy season for the NFL and the AFC West in particular. Some of us have jumped the gun a few times (myself included) and counted teams that were merely down as out. The West is struggling. Every team in the division is still trying to find it's groove.
They all have talent.
They are also inconsistent and the West is looking bad this year.
I'm not sure who will take the division now. I believe Kansas City still has as good a chance as any and better than some. However as the season thus far has shown us that can change on any given Sunday. I believe, (although this belief is not new) that whoever takes the AFC West is not going much farther. The AFC West champion will get to round 2 in the playoffs if they're lucky that's my prediction.