Why Chargers will win AFC West: Philip Rivers has plenty of help

Better Chargers TE to draft: Gates or Henry? (2:33)

Antonio Gates is one touchdown away from becoming the NFL's all-time leader in touchdowns by a TE and Hunter Henry's rookie season was impressive.  Matthew Berry, Al Zeidenfeld and Matt Bowen point out the better pick in fantasy drafts. (2:33)

The StubHub Center may seat only 30,000 people, but fans in Los Angeles are in for a treat this season.

The Chargers are my pick to win the AFC West in 2017.

I know. Crazy, right?

This is a team that has gone 9-23 over the past two years and hasn't won the West since a string of four consecutive titles spanning from 2006-09.

Horrific injury luck is the predominant excuse for the Chargers' recent struggles, and the work of Scott Kacsmar confirms it as a legitimate. As Kacsmar points out, the Chargers lost the second-most games to injury last season and ranked fifth, second and seventh in the category the previous three years.

Keenan Allen, Brandon Mebane, Jason Verrett, Jahleel Addae, Brandon Flowers, Danny Woodhead, Stevie Johnson, Manti Te'o and Jerry Attaochu missed significant time in 2016. Melvin Gordon also missed nearly four full games. First-round pick Joey Bosa, who missed training camp during a holdout, didn't play until Week 5 because of a hamstring injury.

It may be hard to believe after four consecutive seasons of bad luck, but regression to the mean in the injury department is inevitable and has to be baked into any prognostications for the 2017 season.

With that in mind, all that matters today is the team's 2017 projected 53-man roster and its competition. And the Chargers' roster not only stacks up with the top teams in the league, but is arguably better than those in Kansas City, Oakland and Denver. Here's why: