Denver Broncos: The Broncos (6-8) are officially out of playoff contention, but they still have a milestone to play for. The team hasn’t had back-to-back losing seasons since 1971-72, a streak it would keep alive with wins over the Raiders and Chargers over the final two weeks. “Absolutely,” head coach Vance Joseph told the media Monday when asked if that’s a goal. “We want to win. These next two games are important for us to finish the right way. That part is very important to me. It’s about winning. That’s what it’s about. It’s not about losing, it’s about winning. That’s very important to our football team and our coaches.”
Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry’s return to the playing field for the first time since the 2017 opener was without setbacks, but the team will remain patient in increasing his snaps. “He’ll continue to increase time and we’ll see how that disperses out there and what the plan will be for this coming week,” head coach Andy Reid said. “The positive was that he came out feeling good. He was sore — he hadn’t played in a long time.” Meanwhile, right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is “not ready yet” in his recovery from a spiral fracture in his leg that required surgery, but Reid said he still has a shot at returning sometime this season.
Los Angeles Chargers: The Chargers emerged from Thursday night with not only a victory over the Chiefs, but also nine days to prepare for the Baltimore Ravens. The extra time was ideal, head coach Anthony Lynn said, given the schematic complexity of the Ravens’ offense. “You’re playing a team that is really unconventional compared to what we’ve seen all year with that rushing attack, so many schemes and the way they’re using their quarterback,” Lynn said. “They’re using their quarterback like a running back. It makes it difficult for a defense. You have to be disciplined, you have to be in your gaps. There’s a lot to prepare for.”
Oakland Raiders: With a legal dispute ongoing between the city of Oakland and the Raiders, Sunday’s game against the Broncos could be the last game the Raiders ever play at the Oakland Coliseum. Head coach Jon Gruden, who coached in the stadium for four years from 1998-2001, will miss the environment. “Just raging in the Black Hole,” Gruden recalled of his favorite memories. “Rocking and raging down there after the Steeler game in Week 14, after a lot of wins over the years. Seeing a lot of the old highlights of great Raider teams, I get excited. I get emotional about it, and hopefully we get it all resolved so we can continue to play there.” The Raiders’ home in 2019 remains unclear as they await moving into a new stadium in Las Vegas in 2020.
—Field Level Media