Flashback to Week Three when the Oakland Raiders suffered crushing losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings. Did anyone expect the Raiders to be playing for anything in Week 17?
The rollercoaster of a season will continue rolling into the final week of the regular season with a chance to make the playoffs. In Week 17, the team will need to beat the Denver Broncos. They will also need the Ravens, Texans, Colts, and Browns to win.
Things could be a lot easier for the Raiders, if they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. This is the hand they have dealt themselves.
But the Raiders needed 10 games to go their way in the final two weeks of the season, and five of them already have.
Here They Are
Not to swing narratives, as the Raiders still have not proven themselves to have any business being in the playoffs. The Raiders have not beat a playoff team this season and have also recently struggled against teams eliminated from playoff contention.
The team is dealing with some untimely injuries but did not allow that to affect them in their 24-17 victory over the Chargers. Having a deep bench is necessary at this point in the season and the Raiders have shown that at the very least, the Raiders have great support behind their stars.
Yes, the Raiders are still a long shot to make the playoffs. They could be considered the most confusing team we have seen in a while. The Raiders have shown significant promise at times but have appeared incredibly lost at others. At one point, this team had dreams of a double digit-win season, and now they will have to scratch and claw to reach 8-8.
The Raiders have been better than most teams at leaving their fans befuddled this season, but that has been the trend for this team for quite some time. And what would be more confusing than this team squeaking their way into the playoffs this season?
Week 18 Drama
While the Raiders do not control their own destiny, the Raiders will know if they are playing for a playoff spot. The Raiders fail in their crucial games. Yet, finally with their backs pressed firmly against the wall, the team found a way. The Raiders remain the only AFC West team without their destiny decided. Regardless of the Week 17 result, this season looks like a moderate success.
It would have been nice to win their final game in Oakland. Perhaps the Raiders can look past that atrocious showing and give the fans one last playoff trip.