The very short answer to the question posed in the title is, luck. Luck is what the Chiefs need to win the AFC West. Although I would fall short to calling it a good division, the AFC West is surely the most evenly matched and competitive division in the NFL. All four teams could win the right to go to the playoffs as AFC West champs, and the NFL odds reflect that. Currently, the Chiefs are +250 to win the AFC West, right behind the Broncos and Chargers.
The Chiefs don’t need any extra to win the West. What they do need is for the chips to fall in their favor. They need Peyton Manning to struggle, and they need the Chargers to do what the Chargers do best, choke. The Chiefs went 10-6 just two seasons ago, and although they got waxed by the Ravens in the playoffs that season, they are just as good as they were in 2010.
With Jamaal Charles back, and if Dwayne Bowe comes back to play soon, the Chiefs can beat any team in the NFC West. They still have a great pass defense, and if Matt Cassel can stay healthy and accurate, the sky is the limit. They had a very good draft, as they got arguably the best defensive tackle in the draft, as well as several more key pieces on both offense and defense.
The Chiefs first preseason game is this Friday against Arizona, a team that just got smacked by the Saints in the Hall of Fame game. Under Romeo Crennel, Kansas City will be a defense first team, thats main goal is to slow the game down and not let the other team move the ball with ease. What do they need to win the West, nothing but luck?