Overreaction #2: The Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs will be the top two in the AFC West for several years to come
The Los Angeles Chargers have played the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos in back-to-back weeks and, despite poor coaching and several critical mistakes, have looked to be the more talented of the teams both weeks and won.
While the Kansas City Chiefs are clearly the top dog in the AFC West, is it fair to believe that the Chargers will be a step above the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders in the AFC West for the next several years?
Clearly, the most important factor that supports this claim is Justin Herbert. Herbert has clearly been the most valuable rookie in the NFL this season at the most important position.
While Derek Carr has stepped up this season, he has looked a step below Herbert, and little progression should be expected of him at this point in this career. Drew Lock still has not solidified his place as a starter in the NFL yet, so he is clearly far behind Herbert in his progression and may hold the Broncos back the next few years if he does not improve soon.
Beyond that, the Los Angeles Chargers have the star power that those other two teams do not have. While holes can be filled through good drafting, it takes a bit of luck to get a star player that can change the game single-handedly.
The Chargers have several of those players in Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, Joey Bosa, and Derwin James. The Denver Broncos may claim a pair of those players in Courtland Sutton and Justin Simmons, while the Raiders only have one player that is currently of that caliber (Darren Waller).
With a better quarterback and more star players, it should be pretty easy to consider the Chargers to be the second-best in the AFC West in the next several years, right?
Well, their record this year does not show it, which demonstrates that there is more at play.
This year, despite those stars and a superior quarterback, the Chargers have been brought down by poor coaching and an inability to patch major holes on the roster.
While Herbert and a group of star players make the Chargers the most likely team to contend with the Chiefs in the AFC West for the next several years, a better coach needs to be hired and some roster holes need to be fixed first.
Still, the Chargers star players and Justin Herbert give them a big head-start in the race to be in the top half of the AFC West.
Verdict #2: Unlikely to be an overreaction