Never in my life have I been one to call anything over before it is actually, officially over. Yet, ladies and gentlemen, the Oakland Raiders season appears over. The team and fans appear befuddled, having lost their sense of fight and being outscored 116-33 in their last three games. For a team that was 6-4 three weeks ago, this is a painful slap of reality.
The Raiders are now 6-7.
While this is not an opinion, it sets up many. The final AFC playoff spot is currently held by a 8-5 Pittsburgh Steelers team that has been rolling. The Kansas City Chiefs have also improved to 8-5 and have beat the Raiders in both of their matchups, owning the tiebreaker. The Raiders have lost control of their own destiny and now rely on countless outside factors for a glimpse at the playoffs. If the team could not stir up enough fight to even compete in a must-win game against the Tennessee Titans, it will be nearly impossible to win out.
Derek Carr’s Tale of Two Halves.
The Raiders went from scoring 21 points in the first half to not scoring a single point in the second. Carr also deteriorated in the second half, going from dropping a perfect deep ball to Rico Gafford to checking down far too quickly to DeAndre Washington at the line of scrimmage. The checkdown, when used correctly, can be an incredible backup plan if no other player is open, but in the second half, the checkdown became the primary route. This is not the Derek Carr I have been lobbying for throughout the season.
What the hell happens at halftime?
It was not the first time this season that the Raiders looked incredibly strong in the first half, showing promise and fight. Sadly, they emerged flatter than Gene Steratore’s index card in the second. What could possibly be said in the locker room to demotivate the team like this? Why did Carr look so passive?
The running back committee deserves more credit.
When the team sat Josh Jacobs, many fans doubted DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard’s abilities to make progress. The duo combined for 80 rushing yards, 61 receiving yards, and a touchdown. In fact, the running backs were the best part of today’s game. It is always disappointing to see the team’s starting running back miss a game. However, it is good to know there is at least one position where the backups are capable of getting the job done.
The Raiders season is not officially over.
Yes, there is a long way to go and a short time to get there. Meanwhile, statistically, the season still last three more weeks. The Raiders sit two games out of both the AFC West lead and the Wild Card lead, with multiple tiebreakers to overcome as well. All three of the Raiders’ final opponents have losing records as well. At this point, the Raiders must decide if they have any fight left. At this point, 7-9 seems far more probable than 9-7. Time to start looking at potential draft picks than playoff scenarios.