It could have been us, you know.
Tonight the Chargers will host the Chiefs in a contest between two teams condemned to irrelevance. They're both so lousy that it might end up being a fairly interesting game. Neither is likely to blow the other out, although San Diego is heavily favored.
The Chargers and the Chiefs have plenty in common besides both playing in the AFC West. "Chief" among the similarities is their struggles at the quarterback position. Matt Cassell has played very poorly, and been a turnover machine. Brady Quinn, who's head injury will keep him from participating for Kansas City tonight, has been too careful. Phil Rivers, who's run with San Diego has had its ups and downs, has looked "off" for at least two years now. If Norv Turner loses his job fans need look no further than Rivers' performances for the factor that pulled Turner under.
Thank goodness for Peyton Manning. Otherwise, the Broncos would be mired in much the same way. In today's high-flying NFL, a team simply must enjoy significant production from the quarterback position. Mistakes, of which the other AFC West signal-callers make many, are magnified 1000x.
John Elway's pulling out of the stops to attain Manning was motivated by this very knowledge. And, by adding him, Denver pulled immediately ahead of the rest of the division.
As you watch the Thursday night game (and you know you will) be grateful for what we have here in Denver. Keep in mind that both the Chiefs and the Chargers are only one player away from being as good as the Broncos - assuming that one player is Peyton.