Is that title overly harsh? Are we simplifying the competitive nature of the NFL? To be honest, saying that the Kansas City Chiefs will cruise to their next three division titles could be a total too low.
Let's be quite clear about the overall state of the AFC West: it sucks. It's not the Chiefs' fault. They're the one franchise doing everything they can to stay competitive. It's just that everyone else—the Chargers, the Raiders, the Broncos—are all stumbling over themselves to fall down faster than the rest. It's been that way for several years and it doesn't look like it's going to get better anytime soon.
We just discussed the state of the Chargers and how that window is shut. The Raiders literally have the words "interim" slapped on their leaders at present, so no one is penciling them in as contenders anytime soon. That only leaves the Broncos...
Our midseason series of Bold AFC West Predictions sees an easy path for the Chiefs ahead.
The Broncos just found room to actually breathe for the first time in eight years following an embarrassing stretch of 16 consecutive losses to the Chiefs. That's a streak dating back to 2015, when the Avengers rallied together to fight an enemy voiced by Robert California. While that ray of light looks nice, the truth is that the Broncos are still in the basement of the division and were poised to potentially sell what few assets they have at this year's trade deadline.
Yes, it's true that we like the Broncos to be pesky for the rest of the AFC this season. They might even remain that way for the next year—at least as long as Russ Wilson can put up above-average seasons under center for a team that will largely swim in place between 6-8 wins each year. But if they ever want to truly turn the corner, they gotta start over. Unfortunately, they're not even well-equipped to do that.
Moving forward, the Broncos are actually going to need to reset (again) at quarterback and remain just as needy at other key positions all the while. Meanwhile, they've given away numerous draft assets to have the exact situation they are currently in. In short, if you're looking for a franchise mired in mediocrity for the next few years, stay a few at Mile High.
When you add up the facts that the Chargers are entering cap hell the next couple of years, the Raiders are starting over (again), and the Broncos can't even get to where the Raiders are presently, the path forward seems so clear for the Chiefs. Right now they've won seven straight but is any team going to stop them from claiming 10?
We know it's unhealthy to get ahead of ourselves, but it will take a minor miracle for the Chiefs not to dominate this division for the next few years—just what they've been doing ever since Andy Reid arrived.