With the NFL season just a few months away, what better way to prepare than to muster up all the feelings of hatred and passion inside of you? In the AFC finale of our Rate Your Hate series, the AFC West steps up to the plate with a diverse group of contenders. The consistent Kansas City Chiefs join the dominant Denver Broncos, a quickly rising Oakland Raiders team, and a Chargers franchise whose bolo neckties haunt us to this day. Who wins as the most hated team in the AFC West? That’s for you to decide.
The Broncos are an interesting bunch. They currently sport an extremely dominant defense and recently won a Super Bowl title, but the Cincinnati Bengals also compete very well against them. The Bengals beat a Peyton Manning led team on Monday Night Football and nearly went the distance two years later with AJ McCarron at the helm. That said, they also came into Paul Brown Stadium for the team’s home opener last season and gave the Bengals a convincing defeat. Bengals fans have seen both highs and lows against the Broncos in recent years, but is that enough to earn the distinguished honor of being the most hated team in their division?
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are held good company with the Bengals as one of the other teams in the NFL with a decently long playoff drought. But, they ended that with a win in 2014, after a solid 20 years without a playoff victory for KC faithful. Bengals fans can sympathize, even though we’ve been suffering through mediocrity for even longer than the Chiefs have. The Bengals lead the all-time series with the Chiefs 15-13 and have won the last four contests in a row, dating back to 2008. Who Dey reigns supreme lately in this rivalry, but I’m sure the Bengals would gladly trade those wins for an end to the curse of Bo Jackson. Will post season envy earn the Chiefs some votes?
Los Angeles Chargers
The former San Diego Chargers and the disgusting tie habits of their quarterback, Philip Rivers, are still in the minds of Cincinnati fans to this day. In a postseason where the Bengals were heavy favorites to win a wild card playoff game against a sloppy San Diego team that the Bengals had thrashed earlier in the season, it seemed like the Bengals would get the monkey off their back at last. Alas, it would not come to be, as the Cincinnati defense was gashed for four quarters while Rivers played one of his greatest games as a Charger. San Diego would go on to lose in the next round, but bolo ties could not be worn in Hamilton County, Ohio ever again without bringing up a harsh reminder of another wild card Weekend.
The Raiders are back, that much is for certain. There’s no denying the impressive, young talent on their roster and what coach Jack Del Rio has been able to do with them. That said, the Bengals continue to get the best of the Raiders, perhaps proving they’re the more dominant of the two teams when push comes to shove. Their mold is very similar to what Cincinnati was just a few years ago: a young quarterback-receiver duo on offense, with a talented young linebacker striking fear in the opponents on defense. The difference is that the Raiders’ window is just beginning to open, and they should be a force to be reckoned with in the AFC playoff race for years to come, while the Bengals window has been open (and perhaps beginning to close) for some time.
The last time the Bengals made it past wild card weekend was against the Los Angeles Raiders in 1991 (now the Oakland Raiders and soon to be the Las Vegas Raiders). The Bengals were dominated throughout much of the 20-10 loss. However, one play that occurred in the game sealed the fate of star running back Bo Jackson and started what some believe to be a curse for the Bengals’ franchise. The injury immediately derailed Jackson's football career and the Raiders were crushed the next week in the AFC Championship game by the Buffalo Bills, 51-3. The Bengals haven't won a playoff game since that 1990 season (January 1991). That should leave a sting in making your selection in the below...
So, which AFC West team do you hate most?
What AFC West team do you hate the most?
This poll is closed
Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Chargers
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