Necessity truly does make for some odd bedfellows. The rivalries that comprise the AFC West are among the best and most historic in all of football. Forget all that media hype you hear about the NFC East. Those too are great contests but that division is equally as messy as the current AFC West.
Saltiness aside, each AFC West rivalry is as hotly contested as the next. When the division is up for grabs and the playoff home date that comes along with it then you know it will be a weekend of fantastic football. Well…we’ll have to wait and see on the quality of the product. But the trash talk will be epic.
Raiders vs. Chargers and Broncos vs. Chiefs. This is how a season should end. Everything on the line with bitter rivals at each other’s throat.
A funny thing happened as I taunted a Chief fan after watching Sebastian Janikowski kick the Raiders to victory in Arrowhead last Saturday. I had to check myself and reverse field. Don’t get it twisted, I still gloated as if my own son had just won the game but I also had to ask my KC compatriot to bring the Raiders some good luck next week.
You see, Oakland doesn’t own the tiebreaker with those Denver Donks. No thanks to Tebow’s first miracle against the Miami Dolphins and the Raiders rolling over for those same Phins, the Mile High Jesus is in the driver seat.
Win and Denver is in with a home date in the playoffs. It is just that simple.
For Oakland there is still a shot at grabbing the final wildcard spot. But that will require a little more help from the Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans. While still a possibility there should be only one goal for Hue Jackson – to win the West.
So yes, Raider Nation, we’ll have to swallow that pride and push for the Chiefs to beat the Broncos. A KC masterpiece against God’s footballing son will put Oakland in position.
No matter what the Raiders must beat the Chargers. This much is obvious even when there is nothing to play for.
Speaking of nothing to play for, that is exactly what San Diego will be doing. Now if the reports are accurate that Norv Turner will finally be out of a job then his players might want to send him out in appropriate fashion by not even trying. Can you think of a better way to honor Turner?
However I’m guessing that Cry Baby Philip will want to refresh his palate with that taste of victory over the Silver and Black. Once dominant, the Chargers have seen the table turned in this intra-state rivalry. The Raiders have taken three in a row including a convincing beat down in San Diego earlier this year.
So make your peace with it now, Raider fans. We need the Chiefs to sack up and sack Tebow…repeatedly. Without help our Raiders aren’t going anywhere. So while you’re at it go ahead and plan on cheering on the Texans and Ravens too. Making the playoffs would be great but winning the division would be even better.