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    Why Shawne Merriman Believes the Chargers Could Overtake Chiefs

    The Kansas City Chiefs' run of AFC West dominance will end someday. Will that day be in 2024, at the hands of new Los Angeles Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh?

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    Futures odds suggest the Kansas City Chiefs are overwhelming favorites (-225) to win their ninth straight AFC West title.

    But the defending champions have never had to deal with a Los Angeles Chargers team coached by Jim Harbaugh. That’s why former Chargers standout Shawne Merriman believes the division could have a shocking champion in 2024.

    Could Jim Harbaugh’s Chargers Shock the Chiefs?

    Merriman, who went 6-3 with six sacks and eight tackles for loss in his career against Kansas City, believes that pairing Harbaugh and Justin Herbert in SoCal might have been a paradigm shift.

    And that change could happen as soon as 2024 — even with the Chargers’ recent talent drain. Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and Austin Ekeler are all gone after a tumultuous offseason in Los Angeles.

    Merriman told PFN this week that the Chargers missing the playoffs last year with that collection of players “didn’t make any sense.”

    “There’s no rebuilding,” Merriman said. “We’re not talking about them being good two, three years down the road. They got an opportunity this season to turn that thing around and come out of that division on top.”

    Why? Because Harbaugh is the best coach the Chargers have had since Marty Schottenheimer.

    “The Chargers, the fan base, there was so much push to have Jim Harbaugh as the head coach,” Merriman said. “The Spanoses, Dean and those guys, they made a really, really smart choice, you know, silencing a lot of people on if they were going to be able to go out and make those big moves,

    “I think that everybody is saying, ‘Oh, they don’t want to pay. They try to lowball everybody.’ Well, that story’s out the window,” Merriman continued.

    “They are committed to winning. And so one thing that I think that Jim Harbaugh doing, I’m not gonna say he’s taking them to the Super Bowl and I’m not gonna be a homer and be biased. But one thing that we do know with Jim Harbaugh is he’s come in and changed programs and organizations with far less than he has with the Chargers.”

    Our take: Harbaugh will need to do the best coaching job of his career for Merriman’s vision to become a reality.

    The gap in talent between the two teams has only grown this offseason. The Chargers, who own the No. 5 pick, need a star wide receiver.

    KEEP READING: Chargers Grab Blue-Chip Weapon in Joe Broback’s Mock Draft

    The good news? They are in position to land Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, or Rome Odunze — the three elite prospects at the position this cycle — in Round 1.

    Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here, boss. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s all-new Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls — lone wolf or with your friends!

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