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AFC West watch: Raiders give up on the season

Josh McDaniels is already leaving his mark on Las Vegas. The Raiders benched Derek Carr for the next two games.

The AFC West has been set for weeks.

Probably even longer than that; it just wasn’t “official.”

The Kansas City Chiefs are division champions for the seventh-straight season.

And the Los Angeles Chargers are in the NFL Playoffs for the first time since 2018.

But that doesn’t mean the drama is gone from the division.

Here’s a look at this week’s AFC West watch.

San Francisco 49ers (11-4) at Las Vegas Raiders (6-9), 2:05 p.m. MT, Fox

The 49ers are one of the best teams in the NFL and a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

The Raiders are not.

In fact, Josh McDaniels and Las Vegas have given up on the season. Even though they’re not technically eliminated from the playoffs (though they are).

This week, Lloyd Christmas and McDaniels made the business decision to bench Derek Carr for Jarrett Stidham. I’m suddenly getting Jay Cutler-McDaniels vibes. Not only that, Carr has left the franchise completely. Needless to say, he’s played his last down for the silver and black.

Anyway, this game won’t be close and the odds at DraftKings Sportsbook back that up. The 49ers are now -9-point favorites and should easily cover that.

Meanwhile, let the Tom Brady to Las Vegas rumors commence.

Los Angeles Rams (5-10) at Los Angeles Chargers (9-6), 2:25 p.m. MT, CBS

First off, since neither of these teams has a fan base, how will SoFi Stadium be sold out?

But I digress.

As noted at the top, the Chargers have already made the playoffs, but the bigger news is their starting to get healthy.

Joey Bosa was designated to return this week from IR and he could play on Sunday. Bosa has been out for three months due to a groin injury that required surgery.

LA will be without Derwin James, who in sending a message against the Indianapolis Colts, gave himself a concussion. Brilliant.

As for the Rams, they’re coming off a 51-14 shellacking of the Denver Broncos.

The Chargers are -6.5-point “home” favorites. The Rams are the visiting team in their own building.