The San Diego Chargers and AFC West Playoff History


Dec 29, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers fans celebrate following a win against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers won 27-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers are headed into the Playoffs, so are the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos.  All three teams are from the AFC West.   I was wondering if this was the first time in AFC West history that three of the four teams had gone to the playoffs at the same time.  It has to be right?  But, since I wasn’t sure if this was an actual fact or just one of those fan facts that you want to be true I sent a question to my friend Russel ( @baxfootballguru) and he told me that this is, in fact, the very first time since the NFL went to 8 divisions in 2002, that the AFC West is sending three teams.

I wanted to dig a little more into our past to see if the AFC West had represented as well before the NFL’s current format.  Here are some things that I found.

Before the current NFL divisional format, the AFC West has represented with three of it’s teams four times: 1983, 1984, 1991 and 1993.  From 1993 to 2013 is a long dry spell and this trip is the first time that the Chargers have been part of the three teams in the AFC West headed to the playoffs.  The Seahawks were the only non-current AFC West team to be in the playoff trifecta as they went in 1984.

The original AFL West had four members – the Dallas Texans (who moved to Kansas City in 1963 and became the Chiefs), the Denver Broncos, the LA Chargers, (who moved to San Diego and became our Chargers in 1961) and the Oakland Raiders.   These four teams have remained in the AFC West since the beginning and they still remain.  Some analysts think this is why all four teams consider each other huge rivalries.  The Seahawks, Buccaneers and Bengals all stopped off in the AFC West at some point, but ended up getting relocated to their proper geographical division.

The AFC West is the only one of the eight NFL divisions to have all of its teams win titles in the first four seasons of the North-East-West-South format.  The AFC West has represented in the Super Bowl fourteen times beginning with Super Bowl I vs. the Packers.  Also, as all Chargers fans have heard many times, the Raiders lead in Super Bowl wins with a 3–2 record; the Broncos are 2–4; the Chiefs are 1–1 while the Chargers record is at 0-1.

I am looking forward to seeing the Chargers new Super Bowl record at 1-1.  But we gotta start with the Bengals on Sunday!  Boltup!