It’s hard to say just how long it will last, but as of tonight, with the Broncos losing to the Chargers 21-13 on Thursday Night Football, the Raiders are now alone atop the AFC West standings.
With the Raiders win over that same Chargers team last week and the Broncos suffering their first loss of the season to the Falcons — as it happens, the same team that handed the Raiders their only loss on the season — the Raiders jumped to 4-1, in a tie with the Broncos for the division lead. Now with two days until the Raiders play their week six game, they can spend those days as the division leader.
That, of course, means that if they beat the Chiefs on Sunday, the Raiders will solidify their position, with a week before heading to Florida for a double dip against the 1-3 Jaguars and then the 2-3 Buccaneers. If they lose this weekend, they would fall back into a tie with the Broncos.
The last time the Raiders had sole possession of first place in the division was week 12 of the 2011 season when they had a 7-4 record. That week the Broncos were 6-5 and the Chargers and Chiefs were 4-7. After which, the Raiders lost four of their last five to finish at 8-8 and miss the playoffs.