This past offseason, the discussion around the Kansas City Chiefs and the AFC West centered on the improvement of the Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and Denver Broncos.

The Raiders added Davante Adams, the Broncos traded for Russell Wilson, and the Chargers, according to analysts, were ready to take a big jump behind star quarterback Justin Herbert.

Kansas City, meanwhile, was criticized for trading Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins. The thought was that the Chiefs were going to take a step back while the other three teams took a step forward.

Instead, Kansas City has a commanding three-game lead in the AFC West with seven games left to play.

Just business as usual for the Chiefs.

Nov 20, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates after scoring on a 17-yard touchdown reception with 31 seconds left against the Los Angeles Chargers SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

You would think that analysts would learn from their mistakes this past offseason and not doubt the Chiefs in 2023.

But I think we all know that won’t be the case. After all, it seems as though most of the talking heads are constantly looking for ways to discount the Chiefs.

And I have a pretty good idea of what the narrative will be next off-season.

There’s already some talk that the Chargers will fire Brandon Staley this offseason and go after former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.

If Payton coaches next season, there’s a good chance he lands in the AFC. The Saints still control his rights, so they’d have to trade him to another team. It’s unlikely they trade him to an NFC team.

The Chargers make sense for Payton because of Herbert. Payton reportedly wants to land with a team that has a good quarterback situation. And of all the jobs that could potentially be available after the season, the Chargers will likely have the best quarterback situation.

If Payton lands in Los Angeles, I can already hear the Chargers hype heading into next season. All we’re going to hear about is how Payton is going to help Herbert reach his full potential and how Los Angeles is finally going to dethrone the Chiefs in the AFC West.

And guess what, it’s probably going to be another season of the Chiefs dominating the division.

Payton is a good coach. And Herbert is a good quarterback. But Kansas City has the best coach/QB combo in Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. As long as that’s the case, it’s the Chiefs’ division to lose. I don’t care what the other teams in the division do — the road to the AFC West division title runs through Kansas City.

Featured image via Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

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