At the beginning of the 2017 football year,
it was extremely common to hear expert analysts say something along the lines of ” The AFC West is by far the best division in football.” And after the first quarter of the season most of those highly BOLD predictions could easily be deemed correct.
Below: AFC West Standings through WEEK 4
The Chiefs, Broncos, and Raiders fell flat on the pavement face first, free falling from, as previously and respectively mentioned, first in the AFC West, a dominant position in the Conference, and looking to continue right where they left off, to….well, again respectively, lucky to be tied for first, no longer in the playoff hunt, and very lucky to be tied for first.
The Raiders have not looked like the same team that we saw in 2016; the team that many people said would meet the Patriots in the AFC Championship. The Broncos’ whose defense has been highly regarded as the best defense in the NFL, haven’t been able to stop an offense. The Chiefs whose offense in the first few weeks looked like it was going to be right on the cusp of a Steelers-like offense, stopped scoring many points.
So what about the Black Sheep in the division. The San Diego Chargers. Yes the SAN DIEGO Chargers.
After 4 weeks of NFL football, calling the Chargers an outlier of their division, would have been a normal sized understatement. Since then the Chargers have won 6 games in 8 weeks and moved up to a 3-way tie with the Chiefs and Raiders, who were able to hold it together just enough to not be considered a complete laughing stock, unlike the Broncos that fell and have yet to show any signs of homo-erectus, a necessary step before becoming athletically elite homosapiens.
“If Philip Rivers is to secure Hall of Fame credentials, it starts with leading his team to a Super Bowl no later than 2019.”
The analysts that once upon a time made those super trendy AFC West predictions have scratched their heads like 3rd graders with a school-wide lice infestation, trying to figure out what happened to a Chiefs offense, Broncos defense, Raiders momentum, and Chargers dopey 4th quarter fails. All 4 burrowing team habitual identities were prevalent at the start of the season, maintaining through the quarter mark; each team starting 2017 exactly where they left off in 2016. To say each team made a drastic 180,(with am exception liable for the Raiders who dealt with a QB injury that might have cost them a game or two would be a slightly above-average understatement. (With an exception liable for the Raiders who endured a QB injury that might have cost them a game or two)
Instead, the Chargers have been the best team in the division these past 5 weeks, finally taking command of games the way good teams do. River’s has got good protection, the Chargers have actually been, daredI say, healthy, giving Philip Rivers plenty of weapons to work with. The best of which very well could be having a killer defense. Ingram, Hayward, Bosa, and now Perryman coming back from injury, all lead a Chargers defense, who has displayed Pro Bowl talent at each level. River’s has played in 2 AFC Championships, losing both to the Patriots. River’s Doesn’t Have Anymore Excuses. The Chargers control their own destiny. If Philip Rivers is to secure Hall of Fame credentials, it starts with leading his team to a Super Bowl no later than 2019. But 2018 isn’t a year to lollygag around.