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After starting the season as a sleeper team, the Oakland Raiders are now the +1000 fourth-favourite to win the Super Bowl. They’re currently tied with the New England Patriots at 9-2 SU for the best record in the AFC. It’s something to celebrate; this is their first winning record since 2002 – the season they lost in the Super Bowl. It looks like they have the perfect balance to make a similar playoff run.


Raiders on the Rise

The Raiders have risen up the ranks largely because of their improved offense. Led by star quarterback Derek Carr, the Raiders are scoring 27.9 points per game, which is the 5th best in the NFL. The rise of Carr and the passing game has been partially due to their excellent offensive line, which has allowed the fewest sacks in the NFL (13).

Still, some skeptics believe the Raiders aren’t Super Bowl ready just yet. The Raiders have won four games by three points or less. Meanwhile, they hold a slim one-game lead in the AFC West, so they could easily be 7-4 had a couple of bounces not gone their way.


Are the Pack Back?

The Green Bay Packers earned an important 27-13 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday. But have they returned to their former selves, or did they simply beat up on a struggling Eagles squad? The running game is still broken, as they amassed just 74 rushing yards – 26 of which came from Rodgers. On the other hand, the Packers’ defense did hold the Eagles to 13 points. Considering the Packers gave up 38.3 points per game in their previous four, the 13 points is a step in the right direction.


The Broncos’ Big Gamble

Broncos’ head coach Gary Kubiak decided to gamble in overtime on Sunday Night Football, attempting a 62-yard field goal for the win. Unfortunately for them, it failed. The Kansas City Chiefs took advantage of great field position and won the game.

A tie would have done wonders for the Broncos. If it wasn’t for that fourth loss, they’d be inside the playoff cut. The Miami Dolphins hold the tiebreaker for now. A bigger concern is the defending Super Bowl champs’ remaining schedule: four of their final five games are against teams that are .500 or better, and three of them have eight wins or more. They may regret playing for the win instead of playing for the tie later in the season.


Important Injuries

Derek Carr (OAK): The Raiders’ quarterback is expected to play after dislocating his pinkie finger in two places last Sunday. He left Sunday’s game, but returned to lead the Raiders’ comeback.

Jordan Reed (WAS): The Redskins’ Pro Bowl tight end played through a shoulder separation on Thanksgiving. Reports suggest he’s dealing with a lot of pain and will likely sit out on Sunday.

Rob Gronkowski (NE): Gronk returned to the lineup last week after a perforated lung had previously kept him out, but he didn’t last long. A back injury in the first quarter sidelined him. While reports suggest the injury isn’t serious, he has a history of back problems.


*Odds as of November 30, 2016