For Sale: AFC West Title.
Price: 8-9 Wins.
That’s the sad reality today of a division that before the season looked to be a much better division than it has played over the course of the first quarter of the season. Consider that most publications had the San Diego Chargers winning between 11-14 games, the Denver Broncos winning between 9-12 games, the Kansas City Chiefs between 6-9 games and even the Oakland Raiders winning between 4-7 games – you have a division that was expected to pull in about 35 wins. One quarter of the 07 season down – three teams sit at 2-2, while the powerhouse Chargers are an amazing 1-3.
Now the feeling all this past week is that things would start to right themselves out. The Chargers would lay waste to the Chiefs, move to 2-2, and start their run at the title like so many felt they would. The Chiefs would bow down to 1-3, the Broncos would lose to the Colts (as they did) to move to 2-2, and the Raiders would, well, let’s just say that Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter guaranteed a win. So they would be 1-3.
Instead, we have what really seems to be an upside down division four games in, with the favorite Chargers bringing up the rear, while their fans are now chanting for former coach Marty Schottenheimer to return to the sidelines for current coach Norv Turner. It’s a team that appeared confident things would turn around, and now with another loss they appear in disarray. The defense allowed the Chiefs, a team that couldn’t score for the first three weeks, to put up 30 points, and rookie Dwayne Bowe catch 8 passes for 164 yards and a score. The offense continues to show weaknesses as well, as Phillip Rivers was just 21-for-42 for 211 yards with two picks vs KC. The whole offense seems out of sync.
Which leaves us with the Broncos, who as usual were the lambs led to the slaughter for the Colts on Sunday afternoon at the RCA Dome. 38 points allowed by a Broncos defense that was supposed to be better in 2007. The offense seems to be able to run the ball, but throwing it is another story all together, and now they have to worry about the injury to Javon Walker. Many are now saying Denver was overrated coming into the season, and at 2-2, no one can blame them.
As for KC, they are the wild card of the division. Coach Herm Edwards finally opened up the offense this week, and you see the results – 30 points. If Damon Huard can keep up what he did yesterday, and Larry Johnson ever hits stride, the Chiefs could be one of those teams that quietly puts a big season together after all. Then there is Oakland, who is the last two weeks have beaten two bad teams, but still sit at 2-2. Losing LaMont Jordon is a killer, and if he misses a lot of time, then they will be in big trouble. For now though, things are bright for the Silver and Black.
So where does the West go from here? The next four games should tell us a lot more about who exactly wants this division. For now though, it looks like whoever survives to win the west will be one and done in this years playoffs.