Welcome back to another edition of Around the AFC West. As the weather begins to cool, this is the time of year that separates good teams from great teams. Injuries also become a larger factor, and people begin to hone in on the playoff teams.
The Kansas City Chiefs seem to be figuring out whether they will have a bye or not, as simply being in the playoffs is an almost foregone conclusion. Love it. But before all that, let’s look around the AFC West at the rest of the division.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders traveled to Los Angeles to take on the Justin Herbert led Chargers in a division game with big implications for the Raiders. The Raiders are certainly still hoping to take the division and at the very least for a wildcard playoff spot. Beating the Chargers is, therefore, a must for them. The Raiders have been playing well with Derek Carr having one of his best seasons.
The Chargers certainly put up a fight. This game, in true Raider-Charger fashion, came down to the last play of the game. With just seconds left on the clock, the Chargers drove the length of the field, and the Raiders needed a defensive stand in order to pull this one out with only a five-point lead. Defensive back Isaiah Johnson was charged with covering tight end Donald Parham. Johnson defended the fade route and it looked like the Chargers had pulled it off. However, on review, Parham didn’t complete the catch and the play was ruled incomplete.
The Raiders came out victorious, 31-26. The Raiders advance to 5-3 on the season with another important divisional game coming up next week.
The Raiders came out of this game relatively healthy. During the game, Alec Ingold was ruled out with a rib injury and Trayvon Mullen left with a hamstring injury. Other than that, the Raiders continue to deal with COVID-19. They were fined last week and stripped of a sixth round draft pick for repeated violations. Typical.
Next week, the Raiders take on the Broncos at home in Allegiant Stadium. The Broncos continue to suffer injury after injury and might want to consider just waiving the white flag on this season. Given that the Raiders are still vying for the division, they will need to take this game. I do predict they win, but like all division games, it will probably be a tough game.
Game time is Sunday at 3:05 p.m.