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Remember that time the AFC West was the best division in football?

It feels like an eternity ago but the Kansas City Chiefs were once in the NFL’s best division. It came before this season and before anyone actually saw these teams play but headed into 2017 the talk was that the AFC West could have three playoff teams. The Raiders were the darling of the NFL, the Chiefs were steady Eddie and worth another 10 wins and the Broncos still had a championship-level defense.

And then they started playing.

The Raiders are who we thought they were. They’re frauds. Their offense isn’t as good as advertised and their defense stinks. Marshawn Lynch didn’t change anything.

The Chiefs are also who we thought they were. That is still probably the best team in this division but with serious doubts about Super Bowl aspirations. The Chiefs look like the same flawed 10-win team of the past few years.

The Broncos quarterback situation was so much worse than anyone realized. Don’t blame the team for getting soft; blame the GM for not giving this team a quarterback.

The Chargers have been an afterthought but it’s Denver, not Los Angeles, who is in last place. The Chargers is so easy that I can almost talk myself into a 9-7 finish there (they sit at 4-6 now).

This is the NFL. Every time you think you know something, the opposite happens. Like earlier this season when we knew something in Alex Smith had changed and the Chiefs were legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Or when we thought the Chiefs defense wasn’t getting old and slow.

That feels like a long time ago now.

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