It looked like the AFC West was going to be the best division far and away in the 2022 season. In addition to the Kansas City Chiefs already being elite, the LA Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos all made key additions that would seemingly put them in the playoff hunt.
With the halfway point of the season already behind us, the Chargers are the only other winning team in the AFC West and they have had to deal with much more adversity than both the Raiders and Broncos. LA has a 5-3 record while Denver and Vegas sit at 3-5 and 2-6, respectively.
The Raiders have been the most fun to watch after all of the smack talk from their fanbase in the offseason, especially after last year's Week 18 showdown. The Chargers got their revenge in Week 1 and seemingly started a downhill spiral for Derek Carr and co.
After being shutout 24-0 in Week 8, the Raiders responded by blowing a 17-0 lead against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 9. Derek Carr played particularly poorly with a clip of Josh McDaniels telling him to simply think going viral after the game. Why, you may ask? For plays like this:
Raiders fans are finally realizing the truth about Derek Carr that Chargers fans have been preaching.
While Derek Carr is not a terrible quarterback, he certainly is not on the same elite level as Justin Herbert and does not even come close. Carr is another version of Kirk Cousins and Raiders fans have been trying to pretend that he is better than he is for years now.
To quote a friendly email from a Raiders fan that I received after predicting the Chargers to beat the Raiders in Week 1 this season (quote edited for clarity), "We beat the Chargers, we beat them all the time, they added some players and so did we. Carr is one of the top QBs when blitzed and our defense is not bad. We haven't played a game. How would you know hater?"
Well, since that email the Raiders have lost six games and fans are starting to lose thier patientce with Carr. The reaction to that horrible throw in the endzone have been great and Raiders fans have even gone as far as to burn Derek Carr's jersey.
The Chargers have always had to just worry about themselves, but it is nice not really having to worry about Vegas in the hunt for an AFC playoff spot again. With the remaining schedule that Vegas has, it would be shocking to see them surpass five wins this season.
Heck, maybe they will have a top-five pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and can draft a quarterback to replace Carr.