Oakland Raiders can win the AFC West 

October, 19, 2011

Carson PalmerAP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezCarson Palmer has a lot riding on his shoulders as the new quarterback for the Oakland Raiders.
Adam Schefter answers reader questions in his mailbag every Monday and Wednesday. Got a query of your own? Submit it here.

Q: Do the Oakland Raiders actually have a shot at winning the AFC West this year? The San Diego Chargers are still the class of that division aren't they?

-- Sam (Calif.)

A: The Chargers are the team to beat, Sam, but Oakland is capable of doing it. San Diego has failed to prove over the years it's a tough team, a team that can be counted on in pressure-packed situations. This Raiders team runs the ball very well and does a good job stopping the run. And now that it has Carson Palmer, it has a quarterback it can lean on with Jason Campbell recovering from a broken collarbone. If Palmer is the old Palmer rather than an old Palmer, then it's very feasible to think that the Raiders can unseat the Chargers for the AFC West title. If Palmer is pedestrian, the way he has been in recent seasons, it will be tough to do. It's all riding on him.