The playoffs have eluded The Las Vegas Raiders for four years now and while the team has continued to get better, it just hasn’t been enough to reach the postseason. While going from 4-12 to 7 and 9 might not seem like much of a difference, it was at least a step in the right direction.

With that being said and another season right around the corner, here are the five games that are going to be key in The Raiders making it to the playoffs.

5. Week 9 & 16 vs Broncos

Week 9 & 16 vs Broncos

Broncos versus Raiders. Who wins? While Raider Nation might jump at the chance to proclaims Las Vegas the rightful winners, there isn’t a lot of evidence to support that. In fact, between each team handing the other a loss last season and each finishing 7-9  as well, this matchup will serve as a true measuring stick for the entire division.  

If the Raiders want to win these games and make the playoffs, they need to dominate the entire game. That means Carr needs to step up and move the ball down the field. Josh Jacobs will also need to step up in a meaningful way to make sure the Raiders offense doesn't become one dimensional. 

On the other side of the ball, the defense will need stops and lots of them. They need to play man coverage and force the Broncos wide receivers to fight for the ball on every play. Lastly, they need to shut down the run and force The Broncos to make mistakes offensively. 

In the end, it’s going to be a war of attrition and if the Raiders are as good as they have been touted to be, they will win this series of games. If they don’t, they are just pretenders in a league doomed to be dominated by the Kansas City Chiefs.