Go ahead, check that first box on the Las Vegas Raiders' three-game march through the AFC West.
Because with a 31-26 win at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, the Raiders not only improved to 5-3 on the season, but, perhaps more importantly, 2-0 in the division. And with the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs, who were handed their lone loss of the season by Las Vegas, coming to Allegiant Stadium the next two weeks, the Raiders gave themselves a greater opportunity at the midway point of the season to actually make some legitimate, second-half noise.
Describe the game in two words: Thanks, replay. It came down to two plays in the final seconds and replay proved winners out of the Raiders, as Donald Parham Jr.'s apparent winning touchdown on the final play was overruled when replay showed that he lost the ball on the way to the ground. Either way, the Raiders -- who, since realignment in 2002, have played their three AFC West foes in consecutive games just seven times entering this season, never once finishing those stretches with a winning mark -- took a step in the right direction.
Biggest hole in the game plan: Defending Keenan Allen. Sure, Allen is one of the best wideouts in the league, a three-time Pro Bowler, so he's going to get his targets and catches. But Allen was running free throughout the Raiders secondary for much of the afternoon to the tune of nine catches for 103 yards and a TD. The injury bug has taken a big bite out of Las Vegas' DBs, so scheming against Allen might have been even tougher. But it was inexcusable for him to be as wide open as he was on his 27-yard TD catch late in the second quarter and something for the Raiders to chew on going forward. And why did the Chargers not throw a ball his way on the final two plays?
QB Breakdown: Derek Carr started oh-so-slowly and was put in a terrible position by Jon Gruden at the end of the first half, dropping back to pass when he probably should have been kneeling on the ball to get to halftime. So, of course, he was strip-sacked and the Chargers took advantage with a short field goal. But after throwing for just 44 yards on 6 of 10 passing in the first half, Carr opened up things after halftime, finishing with 165 yards and two TDs, including a 45-yard TD to Nelson Agholor and a 53-yard completion to Hunter Renfrow on third down.
Pivotal play: Credit Isaiah Johnson, and the replay ref, for this one. Because one play after the Raiders' second-year cornerback knocked the ball out of Mike Williams' grasp in the end zone with one second to play on a fade to the right side, he did it again on the game's final play. To the same spot. After Parham had been initially ruled to have come down with the ball for a game-winning touchdown.