Flanny’s Take: How the West will be won

By Jeffrey Flanagan
November 22, 2010

The Chiefs took care of business Sunday against the Cardinals in a game they were supposed to win and, indeed, did win.

Now the Chiefs are in a position to win the division and get a home playoff game if they continue to take care of business over the final six games. Here�s how that will happen based on the remaining schedules for the Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers:

CHIEFS (6-4)

  • At Seattle: Right now, the Seahawks are in first place in the NFC Worst, and despite getting thumped by New Orleans on Sunday, expect the Seahawks to play inspired this week. Consider, too, that the Chiefs are just 1-4 on the road and that Seattle is a tough venue to play for opponents. A Chiefs� win would be huge but let�s concede that this could be a loss.

  • Broncos: Payback time. The Chiefs will bounce back at Arrowhead and improve to 7-5 against a Denver team that shouldn�t be all that interested after the first quarter or so.

  • At San Diego: Again, a tough match-up, on the road, against a San Diego team that�s righted its ship. A loss.

  • At St. Louis: The prediction here is that the Chiefs get a road win against an improving but beatable Rams team. The Chiefs will have to fight hard to win here and avoid mistakes because these aren’t the old Rams anymore.

  • Titans: Again, Arrowhead should be a big factor here. So will the fact that the Titans have major quarterback issues. The key here will be for Romeo to devise a defensive scheme to shut down the Titans� ground game. He will.

  • Raiders: This will be the game that will decide the division, at least for the Chiefs. The Raiders will be out of it by this time. Hopefully, the fans will have Arrowhead as loud and terrifying as it used to be when Marty Schottenheimer was coaching there. And coincidentally, Marty will be inducted into the Chiefs Hall of Fame that day. Call it fate � the Chiefs beat the team Marty hated the most and win the division in his honor.

Chiefs finish 10-6


  • Dolphins: Miami is down to it third-string quarterback and looked anemic against the Bears. Don�t see the Dolphins putting up much of a fight traveling across the country.

  • At San Diego: You never quite know what to expect from the Raiders in a divisional game, but I have to give this one to the Chargers.

  • At Jacksonville: The Jags keep pulling off magic in the final moments and they�ll deliver again at home.

  • Broncos: As much as the Broncos would like to issue some payback for the pounding it took from the Raiders in Denver, it won�t happen. The Raiders slug one out at home.

  • Colts: The Colts� defense is suspect and Peyton Manning doesn�t have the weapons he is accustomed to, but he�ll will his team to a win here.

  • At Kansas City: As mentioned, fate will intervene and the Raiders will lose in this one.

Raiders finish 7-9


  • Broncos: San Diego gets it done tonight, though it might not be the blowout some folks expect.

  • At Indianapolis: Yes, the Chargers do know how to beat the Colts and have proven it over the years. But not this time. The Chargers don�t have the grind-it-out ground game to keep Manning off the field.

  • Raiders: As mentioned, divisional games are tricky. But the Raiders are likely to self-implode on the road here.

  • Chiefs: The Chargers are going to want to avenge that opening-night loss in KC. It�s a good bet they will.

  • 49ers: Just when you thought San Francisco was starting to make improvements, along came a shutout loss at home to Tampa Bay. This one could get ugly.

  • At Cincinnati: The Bengals may have a new coach by this time. They may also be fight the Panthers for the top overall draft pick in 2011. What a mess the Bengals are, and the Chargers will roll in this one.

  • At Denver: Here�s the season. Bizarre things can happen in Denver (like the Chiefs upsetting Denver last season to eliminate the Broncos from playoff contention). This will be the whacky end to the season � the Chargers will get stunned and upset by the Broncos, and the Chiefs will beat the Raiders, giving the Chiefs the division title.

Chargers finish 9-7