Week 15 came and went, along with the Raiders playoff hopes. Mathematically .they remain alive, but that is just a formality. The loss this last week to the Dallas Cowboys all but sealed their fate. Coming into week 16, the Chiefs took back control of the division yet again, so let us take an in-depth look at the division coming into the second to last week of the regular season.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs decided to turn back into the dominant team they had been to start the year the last two weeks making short work of both opponents. This last week helped them take a giant step towards winning the division with an in-division win against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chiefs decided that Kareem Hunt could be a bell-cow again, and wouldn’t you know it? He is one. After Andy Reid surrendered play-calling duties, the team got back on the right track again. The Chiefs play against the Miami Dolphins this week who should be easily dispatched if they stick to their winning recipe, if they don’t they could lose the division by the end of the year, though I think the Chiefs handle the Dolphins with ease.
Los Angeles Chargers
As previously stated, the Chargers went to Arrowhead and handled by the Chiefs. Melvin Gordon did a lot of damage but Philip Rivers turned into patented Rivers and decided to not show in a crucial divisional matchup. Not only did the Chargers lose the game but lost multiple players to injury during the game. The Chargers meet up with the hapless New York Jets this week, coming off a loss to the Saints last week. With Bryce Petty helming the offense, the Chargers should roll in week 16.
The Raiders felt Steratore’d last week and lost at home against the Dallas Cowboys. Oakland’s defense improved since taken over by John Pagano. Sean Smith picked off Dak Prescott twice. If not for penalties, mishaps, or folded pieces of paper, the Raiders would still have playoff life. This week, the Raiders face the juggernaut Philadelphia Eagles. Even without Carson Wentz in the backfield, Nick Foles can function as a capable replacement. The Raiders face an uphill climb this weekend. With a loss, their 2017 ends miserably.
The Broncos faced off against the Indianapolis Colts last Thursday night, and for once they looked like last year’s Broncos team. Brock Osweiler looked capable for once and C.J. Anderson cut through the Colts defense like a hot knife through butter. The Colts will make anyone look good. This week the Broncos face off against a much tougher opponent in the Washington Redskins. The Redskins defense is head and shoulders better than the Colts and Kirk Cousins is always a gamer. I expect the Redskins to bring the Broncos back down to earth in their tilt this week.