How Oakland Raiders’ Offense, Defense Compare to Rest of AFC West

The Oakland Raiders have had a very busy offseason. The team brought in a lot of talent both through free agency and the draft. Add to that a brand new coaching staff, and hopes are understandably high in the East Bay.

The ultimate goal for the Raiders is to once again be one of the top teams in the NFL. But a rebuilding team such as this can't look too far ahead. The process of returning to relevance has to begin with smaller, more manageable steps.

For the Raiders, the first step is to be competitive and successful in the AFC West.

Oakland finds itself in a very difficult position. It's the one rebuilding team in an otherwise strong division. Every team in the AFC West beside Oakland is a legitimate playoff contender, and two of them—Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers—could make a Super Bowl run if things go right.

The Raiders, in the midst of a rebuild, are on the opposite end of the spectrum.

However, with the moves the team made this offseason, the gap has been substantially closed. In fact, the Raiders are in position to make a major move up the AFC West standings.


Raiders vs. AFC West in 2014

Oakland has struggled against the AFC West in recent years, and 2014 was no exception, as the team went on to finish with a 1-5 record within the division.

While the Raiders fared very poorly against their divisional rivals, the numbers should be taken in the proper context.

Yes, Oakland lost by an average of more than two touchdowns. But what should be noted is the most damage was done by the Broncos, who beat the Raiders by an average of 28.5 points per game.

The Raiders did much better against Kansas City and San Diego, two teams against whom Oakland lost by an average of just five points.

Still, a loss is a loss. However, there is a silver lining for the Silver and Black. Aside from the two ...

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