Las Vegas Raiders

How Do Raiders Look In Latest AFC West Rankings?

Week 12 has come to a close, and the AFC West is as wide open as ever. The Kansas City Chiefs sit atop the division after giving the rest of the pack a head start to begin the year, but their lead is only one game. Behind them sit three more teams, including the Las Vegas Raiders, with identical records and just as many question marks as ever.

Are the Chargers truly any different than any other iteration we’ve seen over the years?

Can the Broncos’ defense carry them to a division crown again?

Can the Raiders mask enough of their flaws to do the unthinkable?

We’ll have our answers in five weeks. But in the meantime, let’s breakdown the week that was.

Winner Of The Week: Whoever Flipped That Coin (11-0)

The Raiders stumbled into Week 12 with little confidence from the outside world. Their Week 11 showing at home against Cincinnati was not just a third straight loss, but another signal that this “different” Raiders team wasn’t much of a departure from the last few squads that squandered good first halves of the season. Now they would face a Cowboys team with a high-powered offense and a turnover-hungry defense. Why would anyone have faith in Derek Carr and company to pull out a victory?

The Clairvoyant Coin Flipper, that’s who.

Before the season began, a Reddit user flipped a coin to decide the fate of the Raiders in all 17 of their matchups ahead. So far, every selection has been correct. And if you truly believe in the power of the coin and root for the Raiders, you can rest assured that they will win ten games this season.

All you got to do is #TrustTheCoin.

Runner Up: DeSean Jackson

The Puff Daddy “All Up In The Video” Award: DAL-LV Referee Crew 

When the late great Tupac Shakur delivered this unforgettable mission statement to artists that may be tired of the overbearing character that is and was Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, I never thought it would come in handy when describing the actions of referees on a Thanksgiving Day football game. But here we are.

What would become the most watched NFL game in 21 years, partially due to the fact that it had a run time mirroring the director’s cut of The Dark Knight Rises (please release it, Mr. Nolan), was in no way the most clean game we’ve ever seen. However, the number of flags we saw was a bit over the top. Both the Raiders and Cowboys would finish with double-digit penalties that netted them each 100+ yards lost.

Hochuli and Co. made sure to get their camera time this Turkey Day.

Hardest Fall To Earth: Justin Herbert

Remember when the media wouldn’t shut up about Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert being the second coming? I mean, who could blame them? The Oregon product has single-handedly led scrubs like Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Jared Cook, and Austin Ekeler and took the NFL by storm.

Look, we’re not going to act as if Herbert isn’t a talented prospect, but the Chargers are flooded with talent around him and made sure he would have an offensive line that could protect him (Storm Turner excluded). After last week’s win over the Steelers on Sunday Night Football, it looked as though the media’s love fest with Herbert would never end.

Someone should’ve given that memo to Patrick Surtain II.

The Broncos’ defense had their way with the Chargers this past Sunday, with Surtain II himself securing two interceptions, one of which being a pick-6.

I’m sure the love fest will resume soon for the second year quarterback, but Denver provided him with a very rude awakening.

Matchup/Foregone Conclusion Of The Week: Broncos vs. Chiefs

There is no rest for the wicked. After shutting down the vaunted Chargers offense, the Denver Broncos now have to face what appears to be a revitalized Chiefs team on Sunday Night Football. The challenge of Patrick Mahomes is already enough, but the Chiefs will be playing with another advantage on their side. They’ll be coming off of a bye.

Head Coach Andy Reid is notoriously good coming off of bye weeks with a record of 19-3. Andy Reid may look like the Penguin, but he’s on Batman’s level when given prep time for his opponent. On top of that, the Chiefs’ defense appears to be turning a corner. Teddy Two Gloves is going to be in for a long night.

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*Top Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo/The Mercury News

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