You would think, by watching any of the major media networks, that as of last night the San Diego Chargers had clinched the AFC West.
Too make sure, I checked the standings and no, they haven't. There, sitting right on top are the Kansas City Chiefs, where they have been all year.
The Chargers have given up seven points in the last two games. That is very impressive by anyone's standards. Yet this vaunted No. 1 defense still has 10 teams that have allowed fewer points. In fairness, the Chargers have played one more game, but this week the Steelers host the Jets, who have not scored a touchdown since the 1992 season, so I don't think it will change much.
The Charger fans seem to think the points from special teams don't count.
I can't help but be reminded of the moron that Jon Stewart interviewed, Betsy McCaughey. Mr. Stewart, during the debate, pointed out that the United States is 50th in the world in life expectancy. Ms. Moron said yes, but if you take out violent crime and auto accidents we're No. 1.
What? Same utter lack logic in regard to the Chargers "removing" the points scored against them via special teams. In fact, it almost happened again last night. If not for a penalty, it would have.
Most importantly, it will happen again, this season.
With that said, however, I don't think anyone expected the 49ers to win the game, whether that touchdown counted or not. The Chargers are simply a far better team.
Kansas City can pretend the San Diego Chargers aren't even an NFL franchise any longer.
It's simple, win. It will not be that easy, no question. There is not one of the games left on their schedule that is a "lock." In contrast, the Chargers shouldn't even need their first team players to polish off their last two opponents.
That, however, means nothing to the Chiefs. Who cares what they do? If the Chiefs slip up, the Chargers will win their last AFC West title for quite some time.
As a Chief fan of 40 years, of course I will be disappointed. But, as far as I'm concerned the Chiefs are playing with house money right now. This is a team that won 10 games in three years! Even if they don't win the division, they will probably finish with 10 wins this year.
The media needs to make a correction on their further slobbering over the Chargers. They keep putting up these impressive statistic of how dominate they are in December and January—early January.
The Chargers are the Cowboys of the AFC. When was the last time you watched either in the Super Bowl? Yet every year they are predicted as "possible" favorites and it's almost always a consensus that they have the most talent, respectively.
I think the Chargers made it pretty clear the Chiefs need Matt Cassel behind the center. I don't think there's much doubt he'll play in Saint Louis on Sunday. That game, in my opinion, is the most important one left on their schedule.
That in no way implies that the Titans or Raiders could not win in Kansas City. It will be much tougher in Arrowhead, as we all know.
The Titans should be handled, but the Raiders are a solid team and divisional games are always a crap shoot. I will, however, go out on a limb and say if the Chiefs need that game to win the division, the Raiders will have little chance to win.
They will have to deal with an Arrowhead crowd that has not been seen in many years. It will once again be one of the hardest places for any NFL team to win in.
The Chiefs and Raiders are both ascending franchise. The Chargers are descending, and Broncos, well they're just a train wreck. The only reason I say that about the Chargers is because of Rivers. Don't get me wrong, I have tremendous respect for Rivers, and he's only 29.
The problem is, how long can he be expected to carry the weight of this team on his shoulder? How long will Norv Turner be there? If they miss the playoffs entirely this year, will he be gone? If they get in and do their annual pre-Super Bowl exit, will he be gone?
Most importantly, they will not be the only team in the division, which they have been for a number of years.
One game at a time Kansas City. It an old cliché, but it has never been more appropriate.