Raiders Win, Keep Pace with Broncos Atop AFC West

For the better part of the 2000’s, the Oakland Raiders have been the laughing stock of the NFL. Poor drafts, quarterback instability and incompetent coaching and management, just to name a few flaws. With their 34-31 win over the San Diego Chargers yesterday, the Raiders, now 4-1, have finally thrust themselves back into the playoff conversation and a chance to win the AFC West.

Amari Cooper celebrates his first touchdown catch of the 2016 season.
Image by youtube.com

The Raiders now have a solid starting quarterback in Derek Carr (two TD’s and 317 passing yards), a big-play receiver in Amari Cooper (one TD, 138 receiving yards), but their defense still needs work and currently ranks last in the NFL in terms of total defense. The way I see it, this week starts their season with a game against Kansas City, followed by November 1 and January 1 matches against the Denver Broncos as well as a Monday night showdown against the AFC South-leading Houston Texans.

The Oakland Raiders are a playoff team as of today, and have a favorable-enough schedule to win 6 or 7 more games down the stretch. If their defense can limit the big plays, they certainly can challenge for a division title and contend with the elite teams in the AFC.

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About Alex Evans

Alex is currently a sophomore journalism student at William Paterson University. He's an avid New York sports fan, and particularly enjoys covering baseball and football. Follow him in Twitter @AlexEvans1597