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Silver Minings: Where does AFC West stack up against rest of the NFL

CBS Sports says its one of the best divisions in the league

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Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Justin Herbert
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

We know the Las Vegas Raiders will have a tough schedule in 2021 as their slate is routinely considered the hardest (or second hardest) in the NFL.

Of course, the difficulty starts in the division. The AFC West has a chance to be extremely strong in 2021. In fact, CBS Sports has ranked the eight divisions going into the season and has the AFC West ranked third.

The AFC West trails only the NFC West (ranked No. 1) and the AFC North (No. 2). That creates an another problem for the Raiders. The AFC, as a whole, is stronger than the NFC.

This is a season in which the Raiders will try to get to the playoffs for the first time since Jon Gruden’s return to the team in 2018. The postseason chase begins in the AFC West, especially against the Kansas City Chiefs, who have won the division five straight years and have represented the AFC in the Super Bowl the past two seasons.

Of course, the Los Angeles Chargers and second-year quarterback Justin Herbert appear to be on the rise. If Aaron Rodgers doesn’t go to the Denver Broncos, they shouldn’t be a factor. If the Broncos, however, do find a way to land Rodgers, the AFC West will be even more challenging for the Raiders.

In other Raiders’ links:

  • Abram determined: Third-year safety Johnathan Abram is ready to improve.
  • OTA notes: The Athletic has a Raiders’ OTA notebook.
  • New No. 7: Raiders’ receiver Zay Jones is now wearing No. 7. He was No. 12.
  • Drop rates getting better: Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr isn’t suffering from as many dropped passes in recent seasons.