AFC West: Where Should Raiders Rank Ahead Of Week 9?

Heading this week’s crop of matchups, the AFC West looks nothing like we thought it would. The Kansas City Chiefs were the consensus pick to win the division, but they are tied for last, with a losing record. Nobody thought the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders would be bad, but they also didn’t expect the two squads to be tied for first, but here we are. Let’s take a look at where each team in the division stands heading into Week 9.

No. 1 Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders currently sit first in the division, and there is a lot for Raider Nation to be happy about, though it can be difficult considering the recent tragedy.

The Raiders have proven a lot of people wrong this year, especially in the past two weeks. We’ve heard enough about the fiasco revolving around Jon Gruden, but ever since his departure, the team has had an exceptional response. The offense seems much better, and the team is playing with more passion than we saw throughout Gruden’s tenure.

The Raiders currently hold a 5-2 record, which is tied for first in the AFC. They’re tied with the Ravens and Bengals, while the Chargers trail just behind them as well with a 4-3 record. They’ve already beaten the Ravens, and they’ll meet up with the Bengals in what could be a huge matchup in just a few weeks. The Raiders have been impressive this year, but these next few weeks should show a lot about the team.

No. 2 Los Angeles Chargers

This Chargers team had high expectations coming into 2021, with fans ready to see how Justin Herbert would adjust in his sophomore season. It’s safe to say the team has outplayed those expectations, and they’ve already defeated both the Chiefs and Raiders this year.

The Chargers have an electric offense and a defense to match that production. We’ll have to see how the rest of the season plays out, but at the moment, Los Angeles looks like they finally have a contender.

No. 3 Kansas City Chiefs

This is a wild team to see at third in the division through eight weeks. The consensus was that the Chiefs would be first in this division, but the opposite is true. There are a variety of reasons as to why the Chiefs are sitting third in the division. The defense has been atrocious, and to make up for the poor defense, Patrick Mahomes has tried to play too much hero ball.

At some point, most of us expect this team to turn it around. As of now, a disappointing start to the 2021 season has the Chiefs sitting as the third-best team in the division.

No. 4 Denver Broncos

Even being ranked fourth, Denver hasn’t played like a bad team. Through eight weeks, the Broncos sit with an even 4-4 record.

That may be a testament to how good this division is, but Denver has been a decent team so far. They might be the best example of a team that is just a good quarterback away from being a true contender. The Broncos stacked up some wins against struggling teams to kick the year off. Unfortunately, they then lost some games once they played better opponents. That is a classic case of being more of a pretender than a contender.

The AFC West has been arguably the best division in the league halfway through the season. The Raiders and Chargers sit atop the group, while the Chiefs seemed poised to rise back in contention at some point throughout the year.

*Top Photo: Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun

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