As bad as things looked for the Chiefs a week ago, theyre in the thick of a wide-open AFC West race entering Sundays showdown with the Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Kansas City Star
• Next five games: San Diego Chargers on Sunday; vs. Baltimore Ravens Oct. 7; at Tampa Bay Bucs Oct. 14; open date Oct. 21; vs. Oakland Raiders Oct. 28; at Chargers Nov. 1.
• Combined record of opponents: 8-7.
• Comment: These next five, which include three against division foes, will help determine whether the Chiefs can be postseason players.
DENVER BRONCOS (1-2)
• Next five games: vs. Oakland Raiders on Sunday; at New England Patriots Oct. 7; at San Diego Chargers Oct. 15; vs. New Orleans Saints Oct. 28; at Cincinnati Bengals Nov. 4.
• Combined record of opponents: 6-9.
• Comment: Quarterback Peyton Mannings arm strength isnt looking so scary, but neither is the Broncos strength of upcoming schedule.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (2-1)
• Next five games: at Chiefs on Sunday; at New Orleans Saints Oct. 7; vs. Denver Broncos Oct. 15; open date Oct. 21; at Cleveland Browns Oct. 28; vs. Chiefs Nov. 1.
• Combined record of opponents: 3-12.
• Comment: The only team in the division that currently boasts a winning record also faces the easiest upcoming five-game stretch of the lot.
OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-2)
• Next five games: at Denver Broncos on Sunday; open date Oct. 7; at Atlanta Falcons Oct. 14; vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Oct. 21; at Chiefs Oct. 28; vs. Tampa Bay Bucs Nov. 4.
• Combined record of opponents: 7-8.
• Comment: Coming off a gutsy victory over Pittsburgh, the Raiders cant be counted out. Not to mention theyre always tough at Arrowhead.