As hard as it is to believe, there are only seven weeks left in the NFL regular season, and teams are jockeying for every single position they can pick up. The Las Vegas Raiders are no different, and while they remain in the hunt for a wild card spot, they could just as easily miss out on another chance to make the playoffs. They have a history of imploding during this time of the season.
Not only is that evident by the six-game skid the team went on last year that ultimately cost them a playoff spot, but also by their mixed play this season. In fact, The Raiders were on a three-game losing streak before they finally managed to top the Cowboys 36-33 on Thanksgiving. Raiderswire.com gives the Raiders a 25% chance of making it to the postseason.
The Washington Football team
The action starts on Sunday, December 5, when the Las Vegas Raiders take on the Washington Football Team. Who knows if Derek Carr and company can work past this middle-of-the-road team.
One advantage the Raiders might have is that they are one of the top-ten ranked offenses in the league, which could mean they steamroll the Washington Football team. Then again, the Raiders have been known to blow relatively easy games in the past. Can they get the job done this time?
#5 The Kansas City Chiefs
Fast Forward another week and the Las Vegas Raiders will be playing their second game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs. While a loss here wouldn t exactly kill the Raiders, especially with them still being on the hunt for a wild spot, it would be a bad omen of things to come. It would also show that there are very few playoff-caliber opponents that they can beat.
Unfortunately for the Raiders, the Chiefs destroyed them in their last matchup, 41-14. Patrick Mahomes went 35 of 50 for 405 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions. As if that wasn t big enough of a problem, the Raiders also only forced one turnover in their last meeting. This means the team either needs to improve on offense or defense to get a W.
Derek Carr needs to come out swinging in this matchup. This could be difficult depending on how long Darren Waller is out with his IT band injury, but Desean Jackson is already proving to be a decent substitute. Between him, Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards, and Foster Moreau there should at least be no reason for a lopsided blowout.
#4 The Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns might seem like a pretty easy opponent on the surface, but they are 6-6 and very capable of handing out a loss. You also have to consider the fact that the Las Vegas Raiders lost to The Bears, The Bengals, and the Giants, who are all lower-tiered teams. This doesn’t prove that they will lose again, but it does show that the team can blow an easy win.
There is also the problem of the Cleveland Browns having a slightly better defense, which could make things difficult for Carr. One example of this is that the Browns have only allowed 100 rushing yards per game this season and are notorious for shutting down the ground game. That means Carr will have to shoulder the load in the air, and that could spell trouble.
#3 The Denver Broncos
While the Denver Broncos might not look like much with a record of 6-5 and a loss already handed to them by the Las Vegas Raiders, they have had a lot happen since then. For example, the Broncos knocked off the Los Angeles Chargers, and the Dallas Cowboys, who are still considered two of the best teams in the league. Now, if they can pull off upsets like that against teams that are almost guaranteed spots in the postseason, what’s to stop them from doing the same to the Raiders?
As for the Raiders, they have the fourth-best offense in the NFL but have floundered against lesser opponents. Furthermore, Carr is pretty hit or miss. Joshua Jacobs and Kenyan Drake will need to have a good game and help keep the pressure off Carr.
#2 The Indianapolis Colts
The Las Vegas Raiders should have little to no trouble when it comes to dispatching the Indianapolis Colts in their second to last game of the season. At least that s what should happen based on statistics, but the Raiders have been known to shoot themselves in the foot from time to time. Whether it be an ill-timed injury, a few bad plays, or just another media circus that serves as a distraction, anything could derail the Raiders. With that being said, they still have the fourth-best offense in the league and have a slightly better defense than that of the Colts.
Maybe this is actually their best chance to win a game this year. Think about it! How will one of the worst defenses in the entire league compete with a white-hot offense? Carr has been known to be pass-heavy during games, especially with the diminishing returns on the ground, allowing him to light up the scoreboard and maybe secure a playoff spot. This should be a relatively easy win.
#1 Los Angeles Chargers
The Las Vegas Raiders have been dealt the most formidable opponent for the last week of the regular season, and it’s going to be an intense battle to watch.
The Raiders are going to have to lean on the running game to give Carr a break. The defense will also need to come up big against one of the best offenses in the league, making for some very tough work.