Week 11 is in the books, and technically, the Raiders are still in the playoff hunt. Some out of conference teams helped the AFC stay murky with upsets, while others decided to roll over and play dead with their mismanagement of their own quarterback situations. And, with one of the losses came a coaching change with a familiar face attached. Let’s take a look.
Kansas City went to MetLife Stadium to face off against the 1-8 Giants. This game was supposed to be a glorified practice for the Chiefs, looking to get back to their winning ways coming off a bye. Andy Reid is notoriously good coming out of his bye, having the extra time to dissect opponents. But, the Giants had a team meeting and aired all of its grievances, which seemed to work. Kareem Hunt was again held in check, while Alex Smith has become the game manager we knew he was once again. The game was a kicker’s duel that went into overtime and eventually won by the Giants, seemingly saving the Raiders playoff hopes to be dashed some other time. Next up the Chiefs play the Bills who have 99 problems and a quarterback controversy ain’t one.
The Broncos did exactly what the Raiders couldn’t. They admitted they were wrong and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is now out, and former Raiders’ O.C. Bill Musgrave is in, just in time for a matchup with his old team. The reason that McCoy is out, other than the horrid play calling, is that John Elway has the same problem Reggie McKenzie does, thinking he can turn a 7th round pick at his former position into a starter. Even though the Broncos lost to the conference rival Cincinnati Bengals, the team did not get better by firing their offensive coordinator mid-season. Next up the Broncos go to Oakland to find out who will get the higher draft pick in the upcoming draft.
Again, the one team that legitimately has that wild-card feel is the Chargers. This team just annihilated the Bills and comes to play every week. The defense is decent and Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen finally hooked up multiple times. Now, the Bills started rookie Nathan Peterman who was historically bad and eventually put in veteran Tyrod Taylor. The Chargers sometimes look like they could beat any team any time, and other times look inept and lost. This next week the Chargers play the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, which could be one of the more interesting matchups of the week.
The Raiders got utterly embarrassed by the Patriots in Mexico this last week, and didn’t find any answers to any of the questions that have been plaguing them the whole season in the loss. The Raiders defense is awful, yet no changes will be made. The Raiders offense is very vanilla, save for the Chiefs game. This next week they play the Broncos in Oakland, which will be a tough divisional matchup and either Musgrave will get his revenge, or maybe the Raiders will find their “mojo” finally.