An NFL season isn’t complete without tight playoff races.
Be it for a division title or a wild card spot, these teams are aware that every game matters, especially at the tail end of the regular season.
But while the other divisions have some hierarchy, the AFC West is still up for grabs.
Yes, the Kansas City Chiefs have the upper hand at 7-4.
It’s the wild, Wild West.
— Zac Stevens (@ZacStevensDNVR) November 29, 2021
However, the Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos, and Las Vegas Raiders are all behind at 6-5.
There’s no room for error for each team with six games left before the playoffs.
Likewise, there might be a chance that all of them will enter the 2021 NFL postseason.
Unfortunately, one team among them has zero chance of winning the division.
Assessing Their Remaining Schedule
The real competition starts in Week 13 because they’re practically on the same starting block.
Therefore, the team that blinks more often loses.
A winning season for the Chiefs, Broncos, Raiders, and Chargers is within sight.
But the difficulty of their upcoming games varies.
However, one thing’s for sure: the ride will be exciting.
The Chiefs have four AFC West games left, two against Denver and one apiece versus Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 2, 2021
Their other remaining contests are against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Meanwhile, the Chargers’ superior record within the division gives them the edge against the Broncos and the Raiders for the second spot.
They have one game left against all their division rivals, plus matches versus the Bengals, the New York Giants, and the Houston Texans.
The Broncos are currently at number three, and they have two games left against the Chiefs and one game each opposite the Chargers and the Raiders.
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) November 27, 2021
The Bengals and the Detroit Lions wrap up Denver’s regular-season schedule.
Finally, the Raiders have one game left against all AFC West teams, plus face-offs against the Indianapolis Colts, Cleveland Browns, and the Washington Football Team.
Which Is The Odd Team Out?
The Raiders are a talented team, but they won’t win the division.
They can’t get a breather for their next six matchups because all their opponents are either clinging onto a playoff spot or are fighting to join the postseason picture.
After Week 12, Washington is the only team in their remaining schedule with a losing record.
However, they are holding the seventh spot in the NFC and are coming off three straight wins.
— NFL France (@NFLFrance) December 2, 2021
Worst, they play in Week 13, which is not the best time to face a streaking team with an improving defense.
Hunter Renfrow paced the team to win over the Dallas Cowboys with 134 receiving yards, but they won by only three points.
Las Vegas collects the second-most passing yards per game at 296.5, but they were above 300 yards earlier in the season.
Yannick Ngakoue (1st with 55 QB pressures) and Maxx Crosby (2nd, 53) remain atop the league's pass rushers in QB pressures.
Crosby had 5 pressures on 44 pass rushes Thursday, while Ngakoue had 4 pressures on 38 rushes, per @ZebraTechnology. #Raiders
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) December 2, 2021
The Raiders’ run defense is also suspect, allowing 125.9 yards per game.
These reasons solidify the case against the Raiders winning the AFC West this year.
They are at the bottom of the division now and might no longer escape from that spot.