Going into the 2017 season, many analysts predicted that the AFC West would be the best division in the NFL. Things didn’t quite shake out that way, as both the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders have disappointing seasons.
While those teams sunk in the standings, the Los Angeles Chargers rebounded from a disastrous 0-4 start to make a strong push for the playoffs, a spot the team would have obtained if it had a better kicking game.
Going into 2018, fans of the Chargers are going to have high hopes. That’s because the team finished 9-3 in 2017 and would have been a problem for other teams in the postseason. Analysts may have high hopes for the team as well as in theory, it has done nothing but gotten better this offseason.
The Chargers haven’t won the AFC West division since the 2009 season, a year in which they finished 13-3 before being upset in the divisional round of the playoffs by the New York Jets.
That was probably the last season the Chargers were the favorites to win the division. The team closed the 2008 season by winning its last four games to finish 8-8, a record good enough to win the division. The team then upset Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round.
The Chargers should be looked upon as the favorites in 2018, for more than one reason.