The Oakland Raiders are back in the playoffs, but the group has their sights set on even bigget prizes. Since clinching a spot in the postseason last Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, the Silver and Black have refocused their sights on the top of the AFC West.
At 11-3, the team leads the division by a game, but the Kansas City Chiefs are nipping at its heels. If the Raiders are able to win out the final two weeks of the season they will be crowned division champs. Before that can be accomplished, the team must defeat the Colts at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum this Saturday during a Christmas Eve Showdown.
The Raiders have prepared all week for the matchup, so let's take a look back at the Week That Was.
**Head Coach Jack Del Rio talks playoff berth with 95.7 The Game's Chris Townsend and this Saturday's game against the Colts on this week's edition of The Silver & Black Show.
Raider Nation Invades Qualcomm Stadium In Week 15 Bout With San Diego Chargers
Everyone heard the boos pregame.
They were loud and crisp – as boos tend to be – but not all that surprising considering the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers were about to kick off the 114th chapter of their 56-year rivalry Sunday afternoon at Qualcomm Stadium.
What was surprising though, was that the boos cascading down through the San Diego afternoon were directed at the hometown Chargers, not the Silver and Black.
Asked about the situation in the stadium, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers laid it out matter-of-factly.
"It was a road game," said Rivers.
From pregame introductions, all the way until Derek Carr took three kneel downs to ice the Raiders 11th win of the regular season, it was evident that that the Week 15 matchup was in essence a home game for the Silver and Black.
Seven Raiders Selected To 2017 Pro Bowl
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr, WR Amari Cooper, C Rodney Hudson, DE Khalil Mack, S Reggie Nelson, G/T Kelechi Osemele and T Donald Penn have been named to the 2017 Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Tuesday.
WR Michael Crabtree, G Gabe Jackson, K Sebastian Janikowski, P Marquette King, RB Latavius Murray, FB/RB Jamize Olawale and RB Jalen Richard (return specialist) were named as alternates for the annual all-star game, scheduled to be played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 29, 2017.
The seven Raiders selected to the Pro Bowl are the most since the team had eight players named in 1991.
Raiders Linebacker Bruce Irvin Named AFC Defensive Player Of The Week
Following his dominant performance against the San Diego Chargers, Oakland Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Stat line: 6 tackles (5 solo), 2 sacks, 2 tackles for loss, 3 quarterback hits and 1 forced fumble in the Raiders' 19-16 victory over the San Diego Chargers.
His two sacks tied for the NFL lead this week.
Key Matchups To Watch: Oakland Raiders vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Oakland Raiders are back in the playoffs, but with two games left on the regular season schedule, there is still a ton on the table for the Silver and Black, mainly winning the AFC West for the first time since 2002.
Derek Carr and the Raiders control their own destiny and will need a win Saturday afternoon to remain in first place in the division.
It'll be tough sledding for the Silver and black though, as they'll welcome an Indianapolis Colts team that desperately need a win to keep their postseason hopes alive.
Before Saturday's kickoff at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, let's take an early look at three matchups that will play a role in the outcome of the Week 16 contest.
AFC West Update: The Playoff Race Out West Heats Up
It's been a whirlwind season for the Oakland Raiders, as the team has a record of 11-3, is in first place in the AFC West, and has also clinched its first playoff berth in 14 years. There are many contributing factors to the Raider' "Return to Greatness," from General Manager Reggie McKenzie's construction of the roster, to Head Coach Jack Del Rio's leadership, and of course the play of the Raiders players themselves.
Although they are currently the talk of the division, the Kansas City Chiefs remain a force to be reckoned with, and will be gunning for the Silver and Black over the final two weeks of the regular season..
Heading into Week 16, let's break down the AFC West and look at some popular headlines in the division.
Five Questions Heading Into The Oakland Raiders Week 16 Matchup With The Indianapolis Colts
Yes, the Oakland Raiders are officially back in the playoffs, and yes, that's certainly cause for celebration, but with two games left on the schedule there's still a lot left on the table for the Silver and Black.
Derek Carr and the Raiders are within striking distance of taking the AFC West, but they'll need a win Saturday afternoon over the Indianapolis Colts to inch even closer to that goal.
Kickoff at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. PT, but before we get Week 16 underway, let's take a look at five questions we have heading into the game.
Raiders Kicker Sebastian Janikowski Voted Castrol EDGE Clutch Performer of the Week
Sebastian Janikowski's game-winning field goal has been voted the CASTROL EDGE CLUTCH PERFORMER OF THE WEEK for Week 15, the NFL announced today.
The Castrol EDGE Clutch Performer of the Week is the best performer or performance of the week that represents strength in key moments. Fans voted for one of five performers on NFL.com/Castrol-EDGE to determine the CASTROL EDGE CLUTCH PERFORMER OF THE WEEK. The winner will also be announced Friday on NFL Total Access on NFL Network and then posted on NFL.com.
Raiders in the Community:
An exclusive look at members of the Oakland Raiders, along with the Dan Williams' Filling The Gap Foundation, giving back to the local community by giving away presents at a local Boys and Girls Club.
**Video of the Week:
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