Despite an inconsistent 2017 NFL season, the Oakland Raiders surprisingly find themselves at the top of the AFC West. After starting off 2-0, the Raiders then dropped four games in a row but have seemingly begun to found their identity once again.
At 6-6, Oakland is now tied with the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers, adding even more intrigue to the last several weeks of the season. According to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN, Jack Del Rio admitted that each team has a legitimate shot at winning the division:
It’s a good division,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said of the AFC West in his weekly media conference on Monday. “It’s a strong division. It’s one that we’ve had, I would say, maybe a down year, in terms of us hitting a little bit if a dry spell for a stretch. The Chargers hit a dry spell for a stretch to start the year. The Chiefs are in one now.
“We’re all good football teams and we’re all alive right now. We all have an opportunity.”
Derek Carr noted that the team’s goal of a playoff run is right in front of the them and they appear to have finally found their stride. While they may no longer be considered a Super Bowl contender, the Raiders will be a tough out if they were to advance to the postseason.
Week 14 is an enormous opportunity to establish themselves as the clear best team in the AFC West as they take on the Chiefs on the road. Kansas City has struggled the past several weeks, so it will be interesting to see who comes up with the win.