So it has come down to the last three games of the season for the Oakland Raiders to make their first playoff appearance since 2002. Sunday’s opponent, an improved Detroit Lions team, is also looking to stay in the playoff race in the NFC as well.
This game, more than likely will determine the postseason outcome of both ball clubs.
The Raiders have done a full 360 in the last two games game after their 3-game winning streak, being outscored 80-30. Time is running out for the “Silver and Black”, and they better have saved their best for last.
Oakland has to get their offensive attack back up to par. In the last two games, they have struggled to score any points in the first half , that just won’t get it done. Raiders’ quarterback Carson Palmer, has to cut down on his mental mistakes and get this offense going back in the right direction. He has thrown five interceptions in the last two games. It’s like he’s mentally having flashbacks of how he played last year in his head, over these past two games.
Rookie wide receiver, Denarius Moore, is questionable, but is expected to play in Sunday’s matchup. They have desperately missed his deep-threat play making ability down the field. The Raiders will once again be without running back Darren McFadden, who was slated to come back this ball game. To say his presence has been missed greatly by the offense is a bit of an understatement.
Although, back-up running back Michael Bush has had some big games in his absence, he picked the worst time to have his two most unproductive games of the season. The offensive line needs to step up their level of play as well, if Oakland looks to get their offense rolling once again.
Defensively, the Raiders appear to be playing without a heart beat right now. When you let the Miami Dolphins score 34 points and then let the Green Bay Packers put up 46 points on you in back to back games, you have to look in the mirror and do some soul searching, because that is clearly UNACCEPTABLE! Defensive coordinator, Chuck Bresnahan is looking very suspect with his game plans as of late. He needs to to become a chief motivator ASAP, because his defensive play-calling mixed with their effort, is not cutting it at all.
The Raiders play two of their last three games at the “Black Hole”, and need to take advantage of that environment if they plan on having a chance to make the playoffs. Although head coach, Hue Jackson never waivers in belief of his team, time may be running out as Raider Nation awaits impatiently.
With the second series of the fourth quarter under way, let’s see if the “Silver and Black” get on the board in the win column come Sunday evening.
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Written by Arthur Kai