The San Diego Chargers are the yearly favorites to win the AFC West and it’s been that way since their quarterback play excelled so much under the hand of Drew Brees and now Philip Rivers. That said, the young emerging talent on both the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs has changed the landscape to the point where the Chiefs won the division last year. Yet for now the Chargers are still the favorites, and that’s the reason that Adam Schefter of ESPN believes that the Chiefs must win tonight to salvage one win against San Diego in order to have a real shot at the division crown this season.
“The Chiefs have started to play well, and they have a real chance to make some noise tonight,” says Schefter. "If they can win tonight, they will challenge the Chargers. If they don’t win tonight, it will be real tough, having lost two games to San Diego this season. As for Oakland, the Raiders looked like a certifiable contender to San Diego until they played before their bye against Kansas City and got smoked. If Oakland can play the way it did the first six games, especially in the head-to-head games versus San Diego, then the Raiders can challenge for the division title.
“But if they don’t solidify their quarterback position, get Darren McFadden healthy and beat San Diego at least once (and maybe twice), then they won’t be able to do it. The opportunity is there for both challengers, especially with the way San Diego has struggled. But it isn’t going to be easy.”
It’s definitely a close divisional race and it will likely be that way for the rest of the season. However, tonight is a huge step in the climb ahead for the Chiefs that would bode well for the rest of 2011.