Sometimes the script writes itself. It was a win over the Chiefs in week seven that breathed life into a Raiders season that was on life support. Now it was those same Chiefs that, for all intents and purposes, have pulled the plug.
The Raiders were in the midst of a 4-game losing streak when they miraculously pulled out that 31-30 win over the Chiefs in Oakland. At the time the Raiders were 2-4 and the Chiefs were 5-1.
Since that time the two teams were headed in completely different directions, with the Raiders pulling back to 6-6 and the Chiefs falling to 6-6. Somehow it was a three-team race atop the division and it set the table for a crucial meeting in Kansas City that figured to go a long way to deciding who won the division.
If the performance of these two teams is any indication — and I think it is — the division was decided today. Or at least the Raiders part in it.
All the scenarios that gave the Raiders a legitimate chance at making the playoffs involved them winning in Kansas City. With the way the AFC West was stacking up, it was looking like the Wild Card teams would be coming from elsewhere, meaning that whoever gets in would have to win the division to do so.
Sitting at 6-7 with what is a tough game against the 7-6 Cowboys next week and what would appears to be a surefire loss in Philadelphia in two weeks, the Raiders only remotely realistic hope is to finish 8-8 while losing any potential tiebreaker to the Chiefs.
This is to say nothing of the resurgent Chargers, who also came into this week tied atop the division. Next week they face the Chiefs, giving one of them another sure win, leading to the Raiders only hopes to play spoiler in Los Angeles in the season finale.
That margin is now gone with the loss to the Chiefs. Not to mention the Raiders don’t look like a team that could win another game, let alone three more, all against non-losing teams.
I’m calling it now. Raiders season time of death, 3:30 mark of the third quarter in Kansas City, December 10, 2017.