What is it about these West Coast divisions? It's not as if the West Coast produces poor football—24 AFC or NFC West teams have played in the Super Bowl, and 12 have won. While the NFC West might be confusing, the AFC West is in a league of its own when it comes to frustratingly false predictions and inconsistent teams.
Last season the Kansas City Chiefs surprised the division, and the country, by handily winning the AFC West with a high-powered young team.
The Oakland Raiders went 8-8, but six of those wins came from the other AFC West teams, meaning that even though Oakland was perfect in their division, they lost the division and missed the playoffs.
But this division should on paper belong to one team.
The San Diego Chargers are stacked from top to bottom and should dominate this division. Yet somehow they manage to beat themselves every year. Oh, and there's also some team with a horse on their helmet, that plays in the Rocky Mountains, but you probably wouldn't want to hear about them...
Expectations for this season were high: A battle between the young Chiefs, the deadly-in-division Raiders, and the talent-loaded Chargers, with that horsey team possibly playing spoiler.
The passing of legendary owner, former coach, and all around black-and-silver zombie hard-ass Al Davis has thrown his beloved Raiders for an emotional loop.
However, Oakland is fighting hard to keep in the running in a wide-open divisional race. The loss of quarterback Jason Campbell for the season might be too mighty a blow, though, and while Carson Palmer has adjusted, the Raiders are still not where they should be.
The Chiefs were plagued by injuries, as safety Eric Berry, running back Jammal Charles, and now QB Matt Cassel have all been sidelined for the season.
However, coach Todd Haley keeps finding ways to squeeze wins out of the team, all while looking like a local hobo who's wandered out on the field.
As for Tyler Palko? Well, in the words of John Gruden, " 'Palko is playing good football out there.' [five seconds later] 'That was just some bad football from Palko.' "
The Chargers are...the Chargers. Every year something different comes apart for them. Normally it's their special teams, in particular, the kicking has been Boise State terrible.
Not this year.
This year it's been QB Philip Rivers, a statistical maestro in years past, who has now taken up the title of honorary season-ruiner. Rivers' throws just keep finding their man. Unfortunately, the man happens to be on the other team all too often.
I feel like I might be forgetting a team. Oh well, they're probably boring anyway.