The recently-concluded playoffs were an indication of the NFL‘s fierce competition.
But while those are the games that highly matter, the tough battles ensue once the season starts.
Players compete at a high level every week until their bye comes.
However, they play twice as hard if it’s a divisional matchup.
The current NFL landscape gave rise to hotly-contested divisions.
Three NFC West teams made it to the playoffs, with two of them playing in the Conference Championship.
Meanwhile, the AFC North features intense skirmishes between the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, and Cincinnati Bengals.
Yet in terms of parity, no division is as equal as the AFC West.
If the Chiefs win the division next season, all four teams in the AFC West will have the same exact amount of division titles. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/kpBF8BWio3
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) February 19, 2022
The tweet above by FOX Sports: NFL how tight the divisional race has been for the Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and Denver Broncos.
The Raiders, Broncos, and Chargers have 15 division titles apiece while the Chiefs have 14.
With the way things are going, it’s highly likely that Kansas City will get their seventh straight AFC West crown and 15th overall.
Other Teams Are Closing The Gap
But while the Chiefs remain as the division kings, the other teams are catching up.
Justin Herbert and the Chargers scored regular-season victories over Kansas City.
They could have made the playoffs, if not for head coach Brandon Staley’s hyper-aggressive coaching.
Meanwhile, the Raiders entered the postseason despite a coaching change and the drama involving some players.
Finally, the Broncos think that they are one great quarterback away from becoming a playoff team.
Trading for a tried and tested veteran might take them to the promised land.
Yes, the Chiefs are the gold standard in the AFC West.
But they cannot relax, especially against division rivals.