By DJ Sixsmith
Last year, the AFC West was one of the best divisions in all of football. This year, it’s a much different story. The Denver Broncos have lost six in a row, the Oakland Raiders are two games under .500 and Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs are 4-5 since their red-hot 5-0 start. Good news for the Chiefs is that they don’t play a team with a winning record the rest of the season. However, Kansas City does have to face a Chargers team in Week 15 that just put up 54 points against the Buffalo Bills. LA is heating up at the right time, with four wins in their last six games.
There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to the AFC West. CBS Local Sports caught up with Inside The NFL analyst and Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms to discuss who will win the division, why the Chargers are the most dangerous team in the division and how things got so bad in Denver.
Simms, along with Boomer Esiason, Ray Lewis and James Brown break down this and other NFL storylines all season long each Tuesday night at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime’s Inside The NFL.
CBS Local Sports: Who will win the AFC West?
Phil Simms: There is a two-game lead for Kansas City, so you have to think Kansas City has the best chance. They still have Andy Reid as there coach, and Alex Smith is a smart quarterback. He has 18 touchdowns and three interceptions. Those are incredible numbers, and I don’t care what you are doing as a quarterback. Nobody is good enough in the division to just go on a run or win out. I don’t think that can happen. I think it will be the Kansas City Chiefs.
CBS Local Sports: How much trust do you have in the Los Angeles Chargers going forward?
Phil Simms: I like the Chargers. First off, they’re fun to watch, they’re as dynamic as any team you will see in the NFL. Philip Rivers has only been sacked 12 times this year and knows how to get rid of the football. He has a very good receiving core, and they have Melvin Gordon. On the other side, they have two excellent safeties, Casey Hayward at cornerback. And the two most important guys are Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, who are terrors. The Chargers are dangerous no matter who they play, and if they get in the playoffs, I wouldn’t want to play them.
CBS Local Sports: Who’s in bigger trouble right now, the Denver Broncos or the Oakland Raiders?
Phil Simms: That’s a good question. I kind of look at them almost the same. I probably would give Oakland an edge over the Denver Broncos in how they’re doing, just because of Derek Carr, the receiving core and the fact they past protect extremely well. The offensive line is a unit you can really count on. Denver had an outstanding defense, but its kind of fallen apart a little bit, and some of that has to do with the fact that their offense has not been performing well.