The Oakland Raiders came into Sunday’s game needing a win against the Indianapolis Colts, and a loss by the Kansas City Chiefs to stay alive in the AFC West race. Neither of these happened.
Before the Raiders even took the field, the Kansas City Chiefs were dominating the Tennessee Titans 34-14 early in the fourth quarter. As Oakland started the game, time was winding down in the Kansas City game as the Chiefs were finishing off the Titans, and officially ending the Raiders playoff hopes.
On the field, the Raiders got off to a quick start as Jacoby Ford ran the opening kickoff back for a 99-yard touchdown return. The Colts responded late in the first quarter with a Joseph Addai 6-yard rushing touchdown.
In the second quarter, the Raiders took the lead on Janikowski’s 38-yard field goal, but the Colts responded just before halftime with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Tamme to head into the locker room with a 17-13 lead.
Oakland pulled to within five points (24-19) as Janikowski made his 4th field goal of the game with a 45-yarder early in the fourth quarter. Peyton Manning, who threw for 3 touchdowns on the day, then connected with Pierre Garcon on a 7-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead 31-19. The Raiders scored on a 6-yard pass from Jason Campbell to Zach Miller late in the game to make the score 31-26. The Colts were then able to recover the onside kick, and were able to run out the clock to end the game.
While the Raiders have played great this year against their division foes, compiling a 5-0 record, they are 0-6 against the rest of the AFC conference. There’s a difference in beating teams you should beat, and beating playoff-caliber type teams. And this is what the Raiders will need to address in the offseason. They obviously have the talent to be competitive, but they need to win games against the upper-echelon teams. They also can’t afford to lose games against teams like the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals. This is the reason why the Raiders will miss another postseason. If they would’ve beat these two teams, their record would stand at 9-6, and more importantly, they would be playing for the AFC West division next week in Kansas City.
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Written by Mike Cid