The AFC West was formed as a result of the AFL-NFL Merger in 1970. The new NFL was aligned into six divisions (two conferences of three divisions each). The original AFC West had four members - the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Chargers. All four teams were previously members of the American Football League's Western Division. These four teams have remained in the AFC West since its inception, and are currently the only teams in the division. When the Raiders played in Los Angeles from 1982 to the 1994, they remained in the AFC West.
When the Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers began play in 1976, the Buccaneers were put into the AFC West and the Seahawks were put into the NFC West. After one year, Seattle was moved into the AFC West and Tampa Bay was moved into the NFC Central. The Seahawks played in the AFC West until the 2002 re-alignment, when they were put back into the NFC West.
Wild Card qualifiersEdit
*A players' strike in 1982 reduced the regular season to nine games. Thus, the league used a special 16-team playoff tournament just for this year. Division standings were ignored, the Los Angeles Raiders had the best record of the division teams.