Kansas City Chiefs: Everyone is overlooking Chargers in AFC West

Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

A lot of the storylines with the Kansas City Chiefs this offseason have pertained to how the division will come down to either them or the Raiders. What about the Chargers though? They’re definitely being doubted and I’m unsure as to why.

Perhaps it’s the fact that the team formerly known as the San Diego Chargers (now known as the Los Angeles Chargers) hasn’t won the AFC West since 2009, but I’m very confused as to why the Chargers are always being doubted within the division.

Sure, the AFC West is one of the, if not THE, best divisions in all of the National Football League. For proof of that, look no further than our very own Kansas City Chiefs. They went 12-4 last season and won the division while the Raiders also went 12-4 and settled for a Wild Card berth in the playoffs. The Denver Broncos also had a winning record, going 9-7 on the year, but missing the postseason for the first time since 2010.

The Chiefs managed to go undefeated in the AFC West last season, which shows even more that they were deserving of the division crown over the Raiders. Even with how good the Chiefs were last year and how good they should be this year, they’re not a shoe-in to win the title in the West .

Everyone is already crowning the Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders as the AFC West champions, giving the Chiefs a Wild Card spot, and forgetting that the Chargers exist. I actually think that the Bolts could be a dark horse candidate to win the division and I’ll tell you why.

For one, they have Philip Rivers as their quarterback. Now look, I dislike Philip “Crybaby” Rivers as much as the next Chiefs fans, but let’s give the guy credit… He’s good. If Rivers played for a better organization from 2006-2009, he’d probably have won at least one Super Bowl during that span.

Rivers alone is a reason to never doubt the Chargers, but when he has weapons… Ooh boy, watch out. Chiefs fans saw first hand last season how good Keenan Allen is. Kansas City probably wouldn’t have come back and won that season opener in 2016 had Allen not gotten injured in that game because he was flat out roasting Marcus Peters all first half long.

This year’s Chargers team looks more stacked than people are giving them credit for.

Allen’s injury history has been a huge problem for the Chargers, but if he’s healthy in 2017, he’ll have a new best friend on the field by the name of Mike Williams. Williams was Los Angeles’ first round pick this season and he was amazing on the field during his time at Clemson. Considering he’ll get to catch passes from Philip Rivers, I see Williams having a tremendous rookie season in the NFL.

Melvin Gordon is another name to watch on the Chargers’ offense. He had a rough rookie campaign back in 2015, but he had the opposite of a sophomore slump, rushing for nearly 1,000 yards in year two of his pro career. If Gordon can stay healthy, the sky is the limit for this kid.

Now, onto the defense. Los Angeles lucked out when drafting Joey Bosa in the 2016 NFL Draft, as he just happened to be on the board still with the third overall pick. Bosa was a monster during his rookie season, notching ten and a half sacks in 12 games. He’s a terrifying force on defense and the Chiefs have to face him twice a year… Not fun.

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Guys like Melvin Ingram and Denzel Perryman are two big playmakers on the defensive side of the ball too. They’re going to make this LA defense a force to be reckoned with.

I get the hype for the Raiders heading into 2017. Oakland had their first winning season in over a decade and made it into the playoffs, but lost in the first round. Everyone is going to pick them not only to win the AFC West, but probably the Super Bowl as well.

I’ll have a post on why I don’t have as much faith in the Raiders at a later time, but I really just think they’re overrated. Derek Carr hasn’t beaten winning teams and the defense wasn’t all that great a season ago.

A lot of people are going to glance right over the Los Angeles Chargers when making their division predictions due to them not being all that relevant over the past few seasons. This year’s Chargers team, however, looks more stacked than people are giving them credit for.

Whatever happens, it’s going to be a mad house in the AFC West this season and I, for one, can’t wait to watch it unfold.