The Oakland Raiders have opened eyes the past two weeks by outscoring Denver and Seattle by a total score of 92-17 and have put themselves in position to pull within a half game of first place if they beat visiting Kansas City on Sunday.
In an ESPN.com Insider piece, Mel Kiper takes a look why the Raiders are now a revitalized team. Kiper compliments Oakland’s drafting in the late rounds, its hiring of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, its new style of play and new-found pass rush.
Kiper also credits owner Al Davis, who some critics have said the game has passed by. Here is a sample of Kiper’s column: "And as you look at recent drafts and decisions, you'll see that Davis and the Raiders are experiencing a revival because of a keen eye for talent (if not a sense of draft know-how), and some solid personnel decisions and hires."
Let’s catch up on some other AFC West happenings on a busy Friday:
Have some fun with ESPN.com’s ranking of the top NFL players of all-time.
There is a reason why Chaz Schilens’ return from a knee surgery is taking longer than expected. The team now admits it was a complicated procedure.
Kansas City players are not upset that the team didn’t put in a claim for Randy Moss. It doesn’t matter that the Chiefs, who had the No. 25 claiming priority for Moss, didn’t pursue him. Moss went to Tennessee, which had the No. 22 claiming priority.
The AFC West is decently represented in Peter King’s All-Midseason awards column.
The Chargers added to the growing NFL trend by voting to de-certify the union if there is a lockout. It is looked at as a formality for players.
Kansas City defensive lineman Wallace Gilberry will have to open his checkbook after a hit against Buffalo.