The Oakland Raiders went from second in the AFC West to third place as they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. Now at 6-7, the Oakland Raiders are the last AFC team in the hunt for a playoff shot. In other words, they are hanging by a thread and need a miracle to happen if they are to get back in contention.
So what is needed for the Oakland Raiders?
Looking at the AFC West race: the Kansas City Chiefs lead the division with an 8-5 record, the San Diego Chargers have improved to a 7-6 record and in third place are the Oakland Raiders with a 6-7 record.
For the millions of fans in the Raider Nation, this record could easily be a 10-3 but because of mistakes in past games, the Silver and Black has allowed those teams to squeeze by.
These final three games will decide it all, and although the Oakland Raiders can win the remaining games, they need the Chiefs and the Chargers to lose a game each. Can this situation arise? Certainly.
As far as the Kansas City Chiefs go, a loss is highly possible as their leader, QB Matt Cassell, was inactive for last week's game and is uncertain for this weekend as he is recovering from an emergency appendectomy. Brody Croyle replaced him last week and the team was scoreless. So for the Raider Nation, lets hope that this week Cassell remains in recovery.
The San Diego Chargers are hot, or so they believe. This was said last time they played the Oakland Raiders, and the Chargers were subsequently humbled by the Silver and Black attack! However, this Thursday night the 49ers will meet the San Diego Chargers, and for once in my lifetime, I am going for the 49ers. If the 49ers can defeat the Chargers, the Oakland Raiders will be that much closer to domination.
Lastly are the Oakland Raiders and their confrontation with the Denver Broncos, who are looking for some payback in the city of Silver and Black. Last time the two met the Raiders went to Denver and embarrassed them in front of their fans and national television to a scoreline of 59-14. Can the Oakland Raider repeat? Once again, certainly.
Since the hunt is in their own hands, the Oakland Raiders must defeat the Denver Broncos. To succeed, they must not allow turnovers and have less mistakes. Rolando McClain's absence last week was pivotal to the team's loss as he shuts down the middle. CB Nnamndi Asomugha was gone a few games back and it was also just as noticeable. With both players on the field and healthy, the Raiders are in a great position to shut down the Denver Broncos.
This is just a short description of what must happen. If any team in the NFL can make this happen, it is by far the Oakland Raiders. They were the first AFC Wild Card team to take a Superbowl. They are also the first team to lose its first four and come back to get to the playoffs.
This is the same team that the news media felt would be a repeat of last season and has been just the opposite. The Oakland Raiders are for real this season, and the players they have are all fast, strong and the best in their positions. There's no reason that they can't be Super Bowl contenders if it wasn't for those few mistakes this season. The Raiders future is now partly in their hands and I am certain they will play even harder against these last three foes.
I predict a San Francisco win tonight 28-21 over the San Diego Chargers. Hopefully. the Chargers will play like the Raiders did when they faced the 49ers and lose to the 49ers. The Raider Nation will surely be watching this game.