The Oakland Raiders cap off a roller coaster of a season against their divisional rival, the Kansas City Chiefs. With no playoffs in sight for the Silver and Black, they will be trying to accomplish two milestones come Sunday afternoon.
The first objective, will be trying to finish the season at .500 (8-8), and end the 8-year drought of consecutive losing seasons. The second objective, is trying to become the first team in NFL history to go undefeated in the division and not make the playoffs. Although a win would be bitter sweet, it would mentally give them an edge over the division come next year.
If you watched the Raiders this year, you saw a lot of missed opportunities with a team that had a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. One can’t help but to think about the missed field goal in Arizona, the 2nd half collapse in San Fran, the pitiful home game against the Dolphins, or the crazy third quarter and game they should have won in Jacksonville. But with these losses, comes growth, and with Coach Cable creating a culture of winning in Oakland, expect them to win those type of ball games next year.
You also saw a lot of growth in the Silver and Black this year, mainly in the division. No longer are the Raiders the whipping boys of the AFC West, instead they are now the “Beast Masters!” With a healthy squad of young talent and a mixture of good veteran leadership, I’m pretty sure they will take that next step in the right direction. For the most part, they took care of teams they were suppose to beat, which shows progression, a word that did not accurately describe the state of Raiders’ football in the last eight years, but now you can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The Raiders already know what they have to do to get the “W.” It’s the same as always, run the ball, stop the run, and play focused for 60 minutes. Sometimes they take care of these three keys, and other times they don’t. Hopefully, they get it done one last time and improve to 8-8 for themselves, and for Raider Nation. For the last time of the season, this should be interesting!
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Written by Arthur Kai