Why Sports Illustrated is Wrong About the AFC West

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Dec 28, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is sacked by Kansas City Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe (92) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs won 19-7. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

I am biased when it comes to the Kansas City Chiefs.

They have been my team since I got into the NFL as a kid, and I have faithfully supported them every season since that time. I have seen them go 13-3 and 2-14, and it did not matter. The Chiefs are, and will always be, my team.

Oh yeah, and I also do this thing where I contribute to a fan blog devoted to Kansas City’s football team. So I have no delusions. I am not a neutral party. I am not an 100% objective observer.

I have, however, retained some amount of objectivity and reality. Which is why I feel comfortable saying that Sports Illustrated’s recent NFL Rountable got it wrong when a majority said the San Diego Chargers were the most likely team to unseat the Denver Broncos in the AFC West.

Seven members of the SI staff gave their picks on the team most likely to win the AFC West instead of Denver. Three picked the Chiefs, and four picked the Chargers.

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Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we are a long way off from the start of of the season. But when I looked at that article, I wondered if I had been transported back into the 2000’s when there was a period where every pundit just knew “It was the Chargers’ year” – every year. You may also recall that though San Diego had some quality teams in that period, it was never “their year.”

If you read the blurbs given by the SI staff who picked SD, you notice that it seems to come down to three factors: 1) Philip Rivers, 2) an improved offensive line, and 3) and the potential of Melvin Gordon as a great running back.

All of those are good things to have on your team, but none of them place the Chargers in a better position than the Chiefs. Let’s take a look at each factor a little closer.

Next: Man by the Rivers...