Myles Garrett’s Thursday night meltdown dominated the headlines after the game, but what was lost in the chaos was the fact the Oakland Raiders now hold the last Wild Card spot in the AFC. If the season ended today, the silver and black would be back in the playoffs. The last time they were in this position, they squandered it and lost two games in a row. With back-to-back games against losing teams on the docket, the Raiders can’t afford to disappoint.
As of now, Oakland controls its own destiny. If they win the rest of their games, they make the playoffs. While that might seem like a lofty goal, it’s not impossible. The team only faces one more team with a winning record for the rest of the season. The Raiders haven’t done well in the past when they’ve controlled their playoff destiny. If this team is different than what has happened in years past, they need to head to Kansas City on December 1st at 7-4. That game could decide the AFC West.
AFC West Title Is a Real Possibility
To start the season, it looked like the Chiefs could run away with the division. They easily had the most offensive talent out of any team and they’ve been the division champion the last three seasons. However, once Monday ends, the Raiders could be the leaders in the AFC West. Thanks to a Week 10 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Kansas City only finds themselves 0.5 games ahead of Oakland for the top spot in the division. The Chiefs travel down to Los Angeles to face the Chargers on Monday Night Football and a loss to them would give the Raiders the lead in the division, assuming they beat Cincinnati.
That’s a tall order for Los Angeles, so the Raiders may have to wait to own the top spot. They have a matchup against an 0-9 Cincinnati Bengals team on Sunday and absolutely cannot afford to lose that game. The Chiefs follow this week with a bye. If the Raiders can also pull off a win against the New York Jets also, Kansas City and Oakland would be tied for the division lead heading into their second matchup of the season.
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Raiders vs. Chiefs Will Be Biggest Game of Season
The Raiders vs. Chiefs part two isn’t currently a primetime game, but the NFL should seriously consider it. If the two teams enter the game at 7-4, it’s going to be the battle for the AFC West and one of the biggest games of the season. Whichever team wins controls their destiny going forward. The Raiders-Chiefs rivalry is almost as old as football. The two teams hate each other.
Oakland got fleeced when Patrick Mahomes and company came to the Black Hole back in Week 2. Derek Carr has been terrible in Kansas City and the Raiders have lost six straight in Arrowhead Stadium. If the Raiders can pull off the upset, it would be a huge statement game for the team and could mean they are en route for their first AFC West title since 2002. It should be an epic clash between the two teams.