Let’s take a look around the AFC West as the Chiefs all but secure the division and the remainder of the division falls even further behind.
Welcome back to another edition of Around the AFC West. This week’s edition comes a little later than normal after a fun business trip, but it gave me time to process the fact that last week’s win means the Chiefs are all but assured to win the AFC West for a franchise-best 4th time in a row. And, they did it in my favorite way possible: by blowing out the Raiders.
As the cold December winds blow in, these Chiefs look poised to blow up the AFC and possibly make a late season push. Before we get to that, let’s take a look at the bottom-feeders of the league.
The Raiders traveled to chilly Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday to take on the Kansas City Chiefs in a huge divisional game. If the Raiders had any hope of stealing the AFC West from the reigning champs, they had to win this game. Given the stakes, we certainly all assumed the Raiders would come out hot, with a fire in their belly. It was in the form of a dumpster fire.
From the very get go, the Raiders stunk. Carr threw two interceptions, one to Tyrann Mathieu and another to Juan Thornhill (Thornhill’s being a pick-six). While Josh Jacobs certainly showed why he is a great running back, the Raiders were completely stopped.
Until some garbage time points, the Raiders failed in all phases. Their special teams fumbled a kickoff, missed a field goal, and allowed a blocked extra point. The Raiders defense couldn’t stop a relatively stagnant Chiefs offense, and the Raiders offense couldn’t do anything. While Derek Carr will try to tell you that, despite the turnovers, they were efficient, that’s just not true. The Raiders stunk. They stunk bad. I can’t get any more eloquent than that.
The only positive the Raiders can take from the utter beatdown suffered at the hands of the Chiefs was that no one was injured. That will certainly be important if the Raiders want to make a run at a wild card spot (which shockingly is still very much in play for the team that lost back-to-back games by more than 30 points and can’t find an end zone apart from garbage time).
Next week, the Raiders host the Tennessee Titans. The Titans have a new life with Ryan Tannehill under center and are playing inspired football as they compete for their own division. With Derrick Henry operating under the “contract year never fails” philosophy, the Raiders are looking at a very difficult opponent. They will need to drastically reverse what they have been doing for the last two weeks if they have any hope of pulling out a win and keeping playoff hopes alive.
While they certainly have talent, they will need discipline and everyone to show up if they hope to pull out a win. I don’t think they’ll do it.
Opening line odds for the Raiders in Week 14: +3.0.
Game time is 3:25 p.m.