Everyone seems so quick to annoint a savior coming out of the AFC West. First, it was the Raiders. Most recently, it was the Chargers. In both cases, you had a red hot team winning two to four games in very impressive fashion and, subsequently, the national media began to fawn all over each city like they were suddenly Super Bowl contenders. Now? Both of those teams sit at .500. So much for the Super Bowl.
Perhaps you'll remember the circumstances well. Just a month ago, the Raiders were flying high with consecutive wins over the Broncos, Seahawks, and Chiefs -- including a 59 point shellacking of Denver at Mile High. The national media hailed the team as a major force, and cooed over the return of the Raiders to the national stage. Experts praised Jason Campbell as a difference maker and chastised Mike Shanahan for running him out of Washington. Needless to say, for those few weeks, they were the darlings of the AFC West.
A bye week and two straight losses later, the Chargers took over for the Raiders atop the media's love list. The Chargers were the realistic choice given their penchant to make a late run every single season and previous dominance atop the AFC West the last few years. Four straight victories over the Titans, Texans, Broncos and Colts placed Phil Rivers and company on the national radar again. However, this last Sunday's loss to the Raiders places even such a hot team like the Chargers two games behind the division leading Chiefs and at .500 overall.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs have never been out of first place all season. Despite the media fanning the flames of Oakland and San Diego, the Chiefs continue to hone their craft, do what they need to do to win and get right back to focusing on who is next. It hasn't always been pretty. There are still holes to fill and room to grow. But it's the final standings that determine who was, in fact, the best within a division.
And so far this season, despite the glowing reports of other teams, it's been the Chiefs for the entire way.