On Sunday, the Las Vegas Raiders took on the Kansas City Chiefs with a chance to move to .500 going into the bye week, and staking their claim as a legitimate playoff contender. Early on, it looked like the Raiders would roll over Kansas City, as they got out to a 14-0 lead, and looked dominant on both sides of the ball.
However, as was the case at home last year, the Chiefs refused to go away, and in the end, the Raiders were outscored 31-3 in a 31-17 loss to their hated division rival. The loss was the second straight under Antonio Pierce, and pushed the Raiders season to the brink as they went into this week's bye week at 5-7.
The losses to both Miami and Kansas City could prove to be devastating when all is said and done, but as of now, the Raiders are still very much alive in the AFC Playoff race. As a whole, the AFC has beaten up on each other all season long, and in the end, it may take only nine wins to punch your ticket as a Wild Card team.
Raiders have a lot of work to do after the bye week
While Las Vegas is still technically alive, they have a long road ahead of them if they hope to make the playoffs. Much like the 2021 NFL season, where interim head coach Rich Bisaccia led the team on a four-game winning streak to end the season, the Raiders will have to go on some kind of long run in order to move up in the standings in the conference.
When you consider all of the question marks right now, especially Maxx Crosby's knee, the play of Aidan O'Connell, and the coaching of Antonio Pierce, a lot will have to go right down the stretch for Las Vegas. Sure, they have the talent to go on a run, but they are struggling to put together four good quarters of football, and that is worrisome at this point in the season.
The Raiders have a break before their next game, a home game vs Minnesota, so hopefully, they can get this thing pointed in the right direction.