8. Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
This rivalry between the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs has been a fun one to pay attention to AFC West over the last few years, and some big changes this offseason will provide a fresh look at the division’s top two teams.
For starters, Jon Gruden has taken over the reins as the Raiders head coach once again, with a huge load of talent on his roster to work with. Derek Carr will likely be back to being his healthy self under center, and the rest of the offense will return to its usual success with their star back to full strength.
On the other end, Alex Smith is gone in Kansas City, and young gun Patrick Mahomes is taking over as the team’s new quarterback. This will signal a big change in the team’s game plan, along with the big signing of Sammy Watkins for the team’s wide receiver corps.
The whole division will be competitive this year, with the Denver Broncos back in the fray with either Case Keenum, Paxton Lynch or a rookie starting at quarterback and the Los Angeles Chargers still in the fray. With all four teams in the mix, the two games between the Raiders and Chiefs will have a ton of implications for the divisional standings towards the end of the year.
These two always put on a show when they play each other, like their Thursday night battle last season that came down to the wire. If they can continue that pace they always have, they’ll be putting on two of the best games of the season.