NFL Standings: Chiefs lead remains 2 games in AFC West

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 19: Kareem Hunt
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 19: Kareem Hunt /
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Despite losing yet another game, and four of their last five, the Kansas City Chiefs maintain a two-game lead in the abysmal AFC West.

It sounds like some half-baked history, the idea that the AFC West was recently considered the single toughest division in football. The Denver Broncos were entering their second season since raising the Lombardi Trophy. The Oakland Raiders just signed Marshawn Lynch in a homecoming to join the NFL’s best young offense. Andy Reid had the Kansas City Chiefs winning at a regular pace. Even the now L.A. Chargers were expected to prove themselves tough with Philip Rivers at the helm and the league’s best pass rushing duo.

Fast forward to the present and we all know the reality of the situation. The Broncos have arguably the NFL’s worst defense and absolutely nothing at quarterback for both the present and foreseeable future, wasting another year of a decent defense filled with Super Bowl players. The Oakland Raiders had far more holes than the casual observer believed and signings like Lynch were far too overrated. Derek Carr is also never proven himself to be able to win the big game. The Chargers have endured plenty more injuries, although they’re starting to surge from last place to second.

All together, there’s not a single team of the bunch, other than the Chiefs, with a winning record in 2017. In a division largely expected to nab any extra wild card playoff spots, it looks like even the division winner doesn’t even really deserve one.

The fact that the Chiefs have lost four of their last five games and still hold a two-game lead shows you just how poor the rest of the division is. The Chiefs have allowed any team that wants it enough to move back into the race and only the Chargers have heeded that call. Kansas City is just lucky enough that L.A. had basically buried itself a bit too far before deciding to win a few.

Right now the Chiefs are 6-4 and are preparing now to host the Buffalo Bills in a game that’s suddenly very important for playoff positioning. Yet the silver lining here is that the Chiefs could lose their next two games and still be tied with the Chargers and/or Raiders, assuming those teams won both of their next two games. That’s an incredible lead at this stage in the NFL for a team that has looked so bad.

In other words, as pitiful as the team’s recent run has been, their luck has been the opposite. The Chiefs are actually quite lucky that the AFC West is what it is right now and they are simply the best of a bad bunch of teams. Maybe that will change with a continued slide, but at the very least there’s a cushion at this point and it should be enough to hold firm.