The Kansas City Chiefs won the division in 2010 so they're considered a candidate to win the AFC West crown in 2011 in what appears to be a three team race -- Chiefs, San Diego Chargers and...Oakland Raiders.
Yes, the Raiders may be quasi-legitimate this year. It's been a long time since they had something like their 2010 eight-win season.
Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports interviewed Raiders head coach Hue Jackson and had this prediction for Oakland in 2011:
I haven't made any formal predictions yet for the 2011 season, largely because my editor hasn't forced me to, but I'm going to throw one out there before the preseason games begin: The Raiders will win their division and, for the first time since Gruden's team lost to the Ravens at home in January 2001, they're going back to the AFC championship game, too.
Let's remember this prediction. I think the Raiders are the type of team who could just as easily win four games as they can eight to nine games.
Jackson himself makes an appearance in the story and says...well, just read it:
"You better know they know," Jackson says, "and they're scared, for this reason: This is a giant. We have, in my opinion, some of the greatest talent in the world. But as we know, talent does not win football games. And what I have to do is convince this talent on a daily basis that they can do what it takes to win football games. If I can do that, I can awaken this giant."
Check out the full story. I hope this is as crazy as it seems.