With their loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, the Denver Broncos took over last place in the AFC West standings, in what was just the latest chapter of divisional embarrassment for the Broncos.

How is the rest of the division shaking out, and where can the team go from here?

1. Kansas City Chiefs (-)

No other team in the AFC West can presently be taken seriously as a championship contender. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs have the second-best Super Bowl odds, and are presently in control of the AFC’s No. 1 seed, which grants a free advancement past the wild-card round and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

The gap is as wide as the Grand Canyon, and it’s hard to imagine a reality in which the Chiefs don’t hold the top spot in these rankings at the end of the year.

Now, credit to the Los Angeles Chargers for nearly pulling the upset, and always playing Kansas City tough, but they just won’t be on that elite level as long as they have this staff and this cast of weapons for Justin Herbert to work with.

2. Los Angeles Chargers (-)

Now, while it’s clear the Chargers don’t belong on the same level as the Chiefs, it’s also clear they’re comfortably ahead of the dregs of the division — the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Raiders.

The Brandon Staley experiment seems to be a disaster, as Joe Lombardi seems insistent on stifling Justin Herbert’s remarkable talent at every turn, while Staley’s defensive expertise hasn’t shown up, despite Los Angeles making a massive investment in their defense this offseason.

What is this coaching staff providing?

Factor in an already weapons-poor roster that has missed Mike Williams and Keenan Allen for long stretches, and it’s easy to see how this happened.

3. Las Vegas Raiders (+1)

As is the case with all the teams in these AFC West Power Rankings is fairly obvious and non-controversial.

The Las Vegas Raiders are a moribund clown show, that already regrets the hiring of Josh McDaniels, and yet, are reportedly too financially vulnerable to rectify their mistake.

The defense is arguably the worst in the NFL, and Carr is in the midst of his worst season since he was returning from rehabbing a devastating broken fibula injury.

Seeing the offensive line take strides forward has been meaningful (and, as a quick aside, also demonstrates the value and impact of the offensive line coach. That’s important to see for a Denver Broncos fanbase that is desperate for improved line play, has a bad line coach, and limited assets to overhaul the line’s talent), but that’s really been the only bright spot of the McDaniels era.

The Las Vegas Raiders stripped the roster down to the studs this season, while also making win-now moves like acquiring Davante Adams and Chandler Jones. Now, they’re suck in a bizarre quagmire, where they need to rebuild, but large portions of this team have been structured to compete now.

At least they’ve got a sweep over the Broncos.

4. Denver Broncos (-1)

How could you possibly rank any other team in this spot?

The Denver Broncos have the worst overall record in the division this season, they have the worst divisional record of any team in the AFC West, and they just lost to their only contender for last place in the division, completing the sweep in the series.

Even beyond this season, it’s clear the Broncos deserve this bottom spot.

Since the start of 2020, they’re 2-13 in the division, and they’re favored to be 2-16 at season’s end. Since Halloween of 2015, they’re 10-33, with a 4-11 record against the Raiders, an 0-13 record against the Chiefs, and a 6-9 record against the Chargers.

Until the Denver Broncos prove they deserve to be respected and taken seriously in this division, how could anyone?

Plus, with injuries now decimating the roster, and the defense finally showing signs of slippage, it’s hard to imagine the Broncos will right the course as the schedule becomes more difficult.