Chiefs’ fans calm down! This is still your division to lose. Now I know I have angered every Raiders fan out there because they lead the division based on tie breakers. What Raider fans are forgetting is you have one of the hardest schedules in football coming up. The Raiders play Pitt and San Diego both on the road and hard to win home games against Miami and Indy before ending the season IN Kansas City for what could be the AFC West Championship game. The Raiders combined opponent records are 34-29 whereas KC is just the opposite with an opponent record of 29-34. More importantly the raiders are on the road for 5 and home for 3 whereas KC again home for 5 where they are perfect and have 3 on the road.
In my original article I had picked Oakland at 4-5 right now but with the surprise thrashing of the hapless Broncos, they leave the bye 5-4. I had picked Oakland to win the division in the preseason because Jason Campbell made that team legit. Through the first 6 games, Campbell had proved me wrong but in the last two games this Raiders team looks like the one I picked to win it with a 9-7 record. I am upgrading the Raiders from my 7-9 projection in October to 8-8 adding a win over Jacksonville. Their schedule is too much to overcome.
Chargers fans, I haven’t forgotten you. Like him or hate him Philip Rivers finds a way to win in spite of the worst coach and GM in football and now he gets Vincent Jackson back. One thing Raider and Chief fans can agree on if they need to root for the Donkey’s this week to put some separation between SD and the front runners. The Chargers are a game better than I predicted them back in October and still very much in the division race. Going 4-1 over their next 5 but stumbles to end the year losing the two road games and ending 8-8 tied for 2nd with the Raiders.
Denver has done their normal start strong and disappear but this year didn’t even start as strong as usual. Aside from Denver’s rout of KC last week this team has been an embarrassing disappointment. I had them to begin the year at 5-11 but upgraded them to 9-7 after their offense looking so good, however I see them now sliding back to 5-11 and not being in the conversation.
So Chiefs fans here we are back to where we started. This team needs road wins over St Louis and Seattle. Both teams like KC with surprising seasons battling for a division title with unlikely foes. If the Chiefs slip this week again Arizona then you can pack it in but I would not be surprised at all to see this team go 5-3 to finish the year as I predicted last month and a division winning 10-6 record. If they lose at either Seattle or St. Louis they will have to find harder wins against San Diego on the road or Tennessee at home. If they lose to both Seattle and St Louis they will all but hand the division to San Diego or Oakland. It’s not out of the realm of possibility of the Chargers only losing one more game and finishing 10-6 as well but KC could spoil their party and a huge win over Oakland at a very loud Arrowhead to finish the year and put the Chiefs in the playoffs.
Don’t give up KC! You have an easy enough schedule and hold destiny in your hands. Get out there and root on your team and let’s bring playoff football back to KC!
Troy Olsen is a Kansas City Sports Super Fan and a roller derby announcer.
More from Troy can be found at facebook.com/colinmayhem