AFC West 2011 Predictions : A Bolt of Reality Could Come from San Diego Chargers

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AFC West 2011 Predictions : A Bolt of Reality Could Come from San Diego Chargers
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

While the AFC West hasn't always been the best division the NFL has to offer, it has frequently been one of the most exciting for various reasons.

Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis is one of the primary reasons. The Hall of Famer has long been a polarizing figure in professional football, and especially the National Football League.

Davis was the commissioner of the American Football League when the success of the AFL forced the bitter NFL to merge the two leagues. As head coach of the Raiders, he coined phrases like, "Just Win Baby!" as he hired players no one else wanted and won consistently with them.

As owner, he has moved the team to Los Angeles and back to Oakland, as he took the NFL to court several times over different disputes. As history always does to a franchise, the Raiders have recently gone through a rough patch of losing.

This has caused some quasi-football fans, which recently included a member of the media best known for calling play-by-play at an Olympic hockey game 31 years ago, to question Davis' sanity and ability to lead his team to winning ways again.

The Raiders biggest rival may be the San Diego Chargers, the team Davis began his pro career with in 1960. San Diego has won the AFC West in five of the last seven years, but fell short of reaching the Super Bowl each time.

The Kansas City Chiefs are the defending champions of the division. This team has been rebuilding after 10 wins over the previous three years before 2010. They return with an improved roster looking to have an even better season.

The Denver Broncos may have the distraction of third-string quarterback Tim Tebow, but it helps in a way. As the media focuses on this fan favorite, the Broncos let their last fan favorite, John Elway, rebuild the team.

Three teams are expected to battle for the division crown in 2011. Kansas City and Oakland are known for being excellent rushing the football, while the Chargers tend to lean on the arm of Philip Rivers.

Maybe no AFC West team is considered amongst the best in the league right now, but this division will most likely have another exciting finish where the division crown is decided in the final week of the 2011 regular season.

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