Oakland Raiders: How Unpredictable AFC West Is After Win over San Diego Chargers

Aaron YoungCorrespondent IIINovember 11, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 10:   Denarius Moore #17 of the Oakland Raiders makes a catch for 47 yards in front of Quentin Jammer #23 of the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders beat the San Diego Chargers last night in a matchup between two of the three teams that were part of a three way-tie for the lead of the AFC West prior to this game.

Oakland beat San Diego last night because of the outstanding performances by running back Michael Bush and wide receiver Denarius Moore. Bush put up an incredible 242 yards of total offense and a rushing touchdown, while Moore had 123 yards receiving and two scores.

It remains to be seen if the Oakland Raiders will be alone on top of the AFC West until the matchup between the Broncos and the Chiefs. If the Chiefs beat the Broncos Sunday, the Raiders and the Chiefs will be in a tie for lead of the division.

Denver will travel to Kansas City and will look to keep the momentum from last week’s victory over the Raiders going. Kansas City, on the other hand, will look to get back on track after the team’s loss to Miami one week ago. I expect the Chiefs to come out hungry after losing to one of the worst teams in the NFL.


However, if the Chiefs are going to win their game against Denver at Arrowhead, the team must prove it’s able to stop the run. Denver rushed for nearly 300 yards against the Raiders last week, and the running game will undoubtedly be featured this Sunday as well.

As mentioned earlier, if the Chiefs win this game, Kansas will be tied for the lead of the division with Oakland. However, if Denver wins on Sunday, the division will have very interesting standings after the game:

Is he trying to predict the AFC West final standings?
Is he trying to predict the AFC West final standings?Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Oakland: 5-4

San Diego: 4-5

Kansas City: 4-5

Denver: 4-5


So, instead of a tie for the lead between Oakland and Kansas City, the Oakland Raiders will lead the AFC West, while the rest of the teams will be in a three way-tie for second place with only one game separating all the teams. This gives the division a very unpredictable future.

However, one can argue that Oakland and Denver have favorable matchups left on their respective schedules.


Unlike many of the other divisions, the AFC West is a few games short of really taking shape, and there’s not really any way to know which teams will make it to the playoffs and not.

Who would have thought that last year’s 4-12 Broncos might actually be able to make it to the playoffs this year? If the team wins against the Kansas City Chiefs, the ball club will only be a game away from being a .500 team, and the path from being a .500 team and making the playoffs when you play in the AFC West isn’t necessarily very long.

On the other hand, no matter who wins on Sunday, the Oakland Raiders will probably be on top of the AFC West after Week 10 because of the tiebreakers.

And the once-so-dominant football force might be on its way to make it to the playoffs for the first time since the 2002 season.


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