At 6-6, the Raiders currently sit tied for second place with the San Diego Chargers in the AFC West two games behind the 8-4 Kansas City Chiefs. With four games remaining, the Raiders will need to pick up at least one game to have a shot at the division when they head into Kansas City in Week 17.
While the Raiders need to gain ground on the Chiefs, they also need to keep pace with the Chargers. The Chargers have the easiest remaining schedule of these three teams, with only one of their games against a team that is over .500. And that game is a game the Raiders need the Chargers to win.
This week the Chiefs will travel to San Diego to battle the Chargers. The Chiefs upset the Chargers in Week One, on a rain soaked Arrowhead field. The Chargers will be looking to rebound from their recent beat down at the hands of the Raiders and they cannot afford to lose this game.
It looks like the Chiefs are going to be without QB Matt Cassel who underwent an appendectomy on Wednesday. He has not been ruled out for the game, but it seems unlikely he’d be ready to go in five days. This would leave the QB duties up to Brodie Croyle.
Still, unless the Chargers do a better job of stopping the run then they did against the Raiders, the QB is not going to matter. The Raiders ran for over 250 yards against the Bolts last Sunday and the Chiefs will be bringing in the leagues top ranked rushing attack.
With a win, the Chiefs would knock the Chargers out of the division race. The best the Chargers could do is tie them and the Chargers will not hold any tie breaking scenario. Barring a scenario that sees the Raiders lose to the Broncos and Chiefs, yet still tie for the division, the Raiders will win the division in a tie.
The Denver Broncos have already been mathematically eliminated from the division title.