The Raiders gave Los Angeles the homecoming and goodbye it deserved with a big win over the Chargers this past Sunday. That plus some help kept them alive in the playoff hunt.
Sometimes when you win, you really lose.
All week I’ve been taking shit for saying the Raiders don’t deserve the playoffs but it is true. Our team isn’t very good on either side of the ball. We haven’t made a ton of adjustments. Injuries do not help either. All the stats prove that.
Nonetheless, I understand why people are in love with the idea of the playoffs. It is an all new season and a chance to keep playing for a Championship.
Still, if the Raiders do not stand a realistic chance, why show up? Just to say we did. It’s Just Win Baby! Not participation trophies.
Sure, if Tennessee and Pittsburgh lose maybe they don’t deserve the playoffs. However, there are already enough wins from the Raiders season that they don’t need one more blowout loss to the Chiefs or Texans to hinder the confidence of their young players. They don’t need that to be the lasting memory pending free agents have.
Instead, I’d rather have the Raiders finish where they are. An 8-8 team with promising prospects over their division with a 4-2 AFC West record assuming they beat the Broncos. That’s enough for me.
You want to sell stumbling into the playoffs off win over the Chargers and Broncos as added value? Nah, I’m good. Raiders got hella picks and a new stadium coming. A Playoff loss ain’t gonna do anything. I’m good on the false hope and failing up.
Let’s take a higher draft pick and go into the offseason with something to prove after missing the playoffs by a game.
The end of a decade
Playoffs or not, the Raiders will play their last game of the 2010s. This decade will go down with the 90s as the only two decades the Raiders never made a Super Bowl.
How will we remember this decade? What will we remember?
It’s fitting the Raiders are ending the decade as a 7-9 or 8-8 team. This decade was really a mixed bag of high expectations, underachieving an chaos. We saw the team figurehead and owner die. We saw four head coaches and two GMs.
We had a plethora of QBs before landing on one. Every other position was pretty much a revolving door of draft picks and bargain free agents. Many of the ones we developed left and few of the ones we signed really developed into anything more than what they were.
The team made the playoffs once, maybe twice if they make it this year. Otherwise, they were basically had no chance every other year.
We are closing out a stadium too. Ending the flooded toilets and baseball field but also saying goodbye to the most unique NFL market and tailgate experience.
Thus, the 2010s was really just a blur. IT was a mixed bag of false hope and just getting by,.
Luckily, the Raiders prospects for the next decade appear to be much higher. We know who the GM, Head coach and home market will be for the foreseeable future. We got plenty of draft picks and cap space. The players are young and the culture is brewing. Peace out 2010s.
Beating the Broncos
The formula for beating the Broncos is going to be the same as any week. The Raiders won last week because their secondary stepped up, they created pressure and their receivers made some plays. Oakland will need all that this week too.
The Raiders secondary will get challenged by Courtland Sutton. He’s big and fast. The Broncos tight ends are also solid.
Upfront, the Raiders got to pressure rookie quarterback Drew Lock. The tougher issue is doing that while also not creating too many cutback seems or running lanes for Phillip Linday or Royce Freeman. We know that Broncos offensive zone scheme too well.
Offensively, the Raiders also got to see if Hunter Renfrow can make good on last week’s performance by doing it again. Denver’s defense is far from the greatness earlier this decade but it is still really good in spots.
The o-line will face Von Miller. Our offensive line is going to need to step up like they did last week, especially since four of the five starters were on the injury report last week. Moreover, the Raiders are going to be without Josh Jacobs. DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard are playing for contracts and roster spots next year. They did well last week but they need to do it again too.
Ultimately, the Raiders should win this game. Yes, it’s on the road and they are banged up but they have a sizeable advantage at QB. That is if Carr can actually get his life together and win a cold weather game.
Either way, the Raiders need to win this game. Not for the playoffs but for themselves. For their jobs and pride. F the Broncos!