The Las Vegas Raiders were winners on Sunday both on the field and in the division standings. Here’s how the AFC West looks through Week 7 of the season.
The Las Vegas Raiders entered Week 7 coming off a statement win with a prime opportunity ahead of them. With the Los Angeles Chargers on their bye week, the Raiders could secure a win on Sunday and set themselves atop the AFC West. Subsequent losses by their remaining division rivals would be the icing on the cake.
By end of Sunday afternoon, Las Vegas had achieved all of the above. The Raiders were winners on the field and in the AFC West standings.
The Denver Broncos kicked off Week 7 early with their 17-14 loss to the Cleveland Browns, who were without Baker Mayfield, instead of starting Case Keenum under center. The loss brings Denver’s losing streak to four straight games after the Broncos were one of few select teams to start the season 3-0.
A Kansas City Chiefs loss on the road to the Tennessee Titans would be the perfect gift for the Raiders. Las Vegas benefited accordingly, but no one could have expected the Chiefs to suffer defeat in the manner in which they did. Kansas City was handed a 27-3 loss that dropped them to 3-4 on the season, tied with Denver for third in the AFC West.
Patrick Mahomes threw his ninth interception of the season, putting him in company with New York Jets’ rookie Zach Wilson for most interceptions so far through the season. Mahomes suffered a scary hit midway through the fourth quarter that prevented him from returning to the contest. Per Andy Reid, Mahomes cleared concussion protocol and was sidelined for the remainder of the game as a precaution. He is expected to start for the Chiefs next week.
Back home in Las Vegas, the Raiders moved to 5-2 on the season, first in the AFC West, courtesy of a 33-22 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Following their statement win over Denver last week, the Raiders carried the momentum into Week 7. Despite missing Darren Waller and losing Josh Jacobs by halftime with a chest injury, Las Vegas kept their foot on the gas pedal to secure the win.
Derek Carr threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns as he connected with Bryan Edwards and Foster Moreau in the endzone. With Jacobs sidelined, Kenyan Drake emulated the next-man-up mentality, rushing for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Here are the AFC West standings through Week 7:
AFC West Standings: Raiders sit on top (Week 7):
- Las Vegas Raiders (5-2)
- Los Angeles Chargers (4-2)
- Kansas City Chiefs (3-4)
- Denver Broncos (3-4)
The Raiders should be confident as they head into their bye week with a (5-2) record and a current first-place hold on the AFC West. Though they won’t face an opponent in Week 8, there will be plenty of storylines to follow, including the health of Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs.
Las Vegas will travel to face the (2-5) New York Giants in Week 9, in what is sure to be a matchup in favor of the Raiders. Historically this has the makings of a trap game, with the Raiders traveling to the East Coast and the potential of playing down to their opponent. But as we’ve seen through almost halfway into the season, this Raiders team is different.
Las Vegas should be focused on continuing their strong start, and the hope is that a healthy Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs will suit up against the Giants.