Why the LA Chargers should be the favorites to win the AFC West

Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Chargers
Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Chargers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages
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The LA Chargers are heading into a big divisional game against the Denver Broncos in Week 12 of the 2021 NFL season. While the Chargers are the better team on paper, anything can happen in a divisional game and the Bolts better hope that they emerge on top.

This is the time in the season where the cream rises to the top and the Chargers need to get something going. They have not won two games in a row since Week 4 and 5 and this presents a good chance to get some momentum heading into the final chapter of the season.

A win would also tie the Chargers atop the AFC West with the Kansas City Chiefs, who were the preseason favorite and are likely considered the favorite now that they have gained some momentum by winning four straight. While casual NFL fans and NFL media are expecting the Chiefs to outlast the Chargers in the battle for the AFC West, the Bolts have a pretty good shot of winning their first division title since the 2009 season. In fact, I would go as far as to say...

There are three reasons why the LA Chargers should be favored in the AFC West.

Let's dive into those reasons.

1. The LA Chargers own the tiebreakers (right now)

This is a very important point when we are talking about the race for a division crown. While things can absolutely change in the last seven games of the season for the Chargers, as it stands right now, the Bolts have a solid tiebreaker lead over the Chiefs.

The Chargers currently have the head-to-head advantage, which is huge. This means that the most the Chiefs can do is even the score, which would lead to there being more tiebreakers considered. The next tiebreaker is division record. The Chargers are 2-0 in the division while the Chiefs are 1-1. If Kansas City beats LA, then they will probably end up with the same division record.

The next tiebreaker is record in common games. Right now the Chiefs are 4-1 in common games while the Chargers are 3-2. However, if they tie at the end of the year, that will likely also be the same with the Chiefs still playing Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Then it would go to conference record and the Chargers have a two-game advantage.

Regardless, the Chargers are in the driver's seat if they just continue to win games, which gets into our second point.