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AFC West Week 8 Rankings: Chargers miss opportunity to keep pace with the Chiefs

With 10 games to go, Chargers still have the chance to improve on 9-8 2021 record.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Chargers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers blew their first chance to stay atop the division alongside the Chiefs. Now, they’re 4-3 entering their bye while the Chiefs sit at 5-2.

They’re still plenty ahead of the 2-5 Broncos and the 2-5 Raiders, but with the way this team is trending, everything is still up in the air.

Let’s take a look at where the division stacks up after seven weeks:

1.) Kansas City Chiefs (5-2, 2-0 AFC West)

The Chiefs came back from an earl 10-0 deficit to throttle the 49ers 44-23. Patrick Mahomes and the offense is humming along like they didn’t just trade their top wide receiver to the season and that should be a very scary thing for the rest of the NFL. Mecole Hardman scored three touchdowns against a 49ers defense that had been very stingy until Sunday’s performance.

The Chiefs are on a bye this week.

2.) Los Angeles Chargers (4-3, 2-1 AFC West)

The Chargers’ luck ran out after three-straight wins that for the most part came in dramatic and close fashion. Instead of abusing one of the league’s worst defenses, it was their defense that got manhandled while the offense also couldn’t do much to help them out following a rough start to Sunday’s game.

This game was also the second blowout loss at home for the Chargers this season. That’s a statement no one would have guessed to be a real, factual sentence in a season following the type of defensive spending spree the Chargers went on earlier this year. The first one — at the hands of the Jaguars — has only gone on to look even worse now that Jacksonville sits with a 2-5 record after seven weeks of the season.

The Bolts are on a much-needed bye this week.

3.) Denver Broncos (2-5, 0-2 AFC West)

The Broncos lost again but this time they did it with Brett Rypien as the starting quarterback instead of Russell Wilson who sat out with an injury. The loss shows that the team likely isn’t just a different quarterback away from being a contender and it’s understandable to start believing Nathaniel Hackett just isn’t the guy for this franchise.

Denver travels to Jacksonville in week eight to take on the 2-5 Jaguars.

4.) Las Vegas Raiders (2-4, 1-2 AFC West)

The Raiders came off the bye and smacked a struggling Texans team to earn their second victory of the season. The win came in blowout fashion and it’s easy to see this performance as what many expected the team to look like prior to the start of the season. Josh Jacobs is running like an All-Pro in 2022 and if he can keep this hot streak up, he just may get there.

Las Vegas travels to New Orleans to face a 2-5 Saints team this week.