3 Reasons why the Oakland Raiders will win the AFC West
The AFC West is wide open
This weekend went about as well as it could have for the Raiders in terms of results around the league. After beating the Chargers on Thursday night the team had the weekend off to watch some games and see how the standings would shake out after Week 10. With the Colts, Bills, and Chiefs all losing in surprising fashion, the AFC playoff picture was shaken up a little bit.
Overall, the Raiders have a great shot at earning a wild card berth as they hold the tie breaker over the Indianapolis Colts already, and they lost to the Miami Dolphins, arguably the worst team in the league. In addition, the Buffalo Bills lost to the Cleveland Browns in a stunner and their record drops to 6-3, meaning the Raiders are only one game behind.
With regards to the AFC West, it is truly wide open now that the Kansas City Chiefs suffered their fourth loss of the season at the hands of the Tennessee Titans led by Ryan Tannehill. It is evident by now, the Chiefs have been exposed and the blueprint for how to beat them has been laid out. It seems simple enough… run the ball!
The Colts and Titans both had a successful outing by punishing the Chiefs in the running game. If Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense is forced to stay on the bench, they cannot hurt you. By establishing the run you wear out the defense and control the clock, the two keys to beating the Chiefs. With Kansas City showing weakness and Los Angeles and Denver beating themselves on most weeks, the AFC West is open for the taking. Only half a game behind the Chiefs now, the Raiders are in prime position to make their move.
With upcoming games against the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets, the Raiders could easily be sitting at 7-4 in two weeks. They round out the season with the Chiefs in Kansas City, Titans and Jaguars in Oakland, and then on the road to close with games in Los Angeles and Denver. That stretch is by no means impossible to run through. Realistically, the Raiders have 10 or 11 wins in their grasp as the remaining opponents do not strike much fear into anyone.
Should Oakland win five of their last seven, one of those needs to be over the Chiefs so that they at minimum share the head to head tiebreaker. Regardless, winning the division is very doable and in the Raiders grasp, will they take advantage of their incredible opportunity? Only time will tell.