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Instant reactions from Chiefs versus Chargers

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NFL: International Series- Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Chiefs grabbed a win after a slow start on Monday night in Mexico City to stay ahead of the Raiders in a tight race for first place in the AFC West.

Wow. What a wild sentence that was.

A year after starting the season with a 1-7 record, Jon Gruden has turned this ship around just enough that a division title is legitimately on the table. Is it likely? No. But it will sure look likely if the Raiders win in Week 13 at Arrowhead.

Kansas City has looked vulnerable in recent weeks and might be without Tyreek Hill when they host the Raiders. But they’ll have an extra week to recover and prepare during a Week 12 bye, while the Raiders travel to MetLife Stadium and hopefully don’t cross the black cat living there.

Looking at the rest of the Chiefs schedule, it looks like the Raiders will need to go 11-5 to win the division:

Week 12: Bye

Week 13: Host Raiders

Week 14: At Patriots

Week 15: Host Broncos

Week 16: At Bears

Week 17: Host Chargers

A Week 14 matchup at Gillette Stadium appears to be the only obvious loss across that schedule. That makes Week 13 extremely important.

For the Chargers, this loss pretty much eliminates them from the playoff picture. Running the table to 9-7 isn’t getting it done in the AFC this year. They’ll likely just be playing ruin other AFC West foes late in the season when they face the Raiders and Chiefs consecutively to close the season. That could be a legitimate concern if Philip Rivers stops turning the ball over. He’s been legitimately bad the past two weeks and watching the Chargers offensive line struggle all season has to have Derek Carr feeling thankful for his “Carr insurance.

Come to think of it, Carr should be buying all of his hog mollies up front Thanksgiving turkeys.