How fitting that the Raiders last playoff hopes come down to Week 17 and our hated nemesis the Chargers.
Raiders have blocked the Chargers from the playoffs on multiple times over the decades, and both teams take pride in playing the spoiler for the other.
I predicted a 8-8 season for the Raiders and a playoff berth riding on the final game of the regular season. I thought that this season’s tough schedule would end up keeping any AFC West team from reaching a double digit winning record, and in that way I was correct.
However, it was the Denver Broncos who ended up challenging Oakland for the top spot, which was a surprise to many of the pundits who were high on the Chargers.
The fact that Raiders are still in contention was to be expected, but ultimately we all know that they should have had this thing sewn up weeks ago. I am still in shock how Denver was able to go on an unprecedented winning streak with former college star Tim Tebow.
But there is plenty of off-season to talk about these things. For now our evil Mirror Image the San Diego Chargers are the perfect opponent for our Raiders to end the season on. Both of these teams have great talent at running back that is playing under par. Both have great QB’s who are throwing uncharacteristic bad passes. Both have defense that suddenly gives up big plays. And both have the ability to win many games that they end up losing.
In some ways SD is our opposite, the epitome of air-heads, shorts & flip flops, beach living. Oakland is blue collar, hard workers, down and dirty in general. Golden boy versus scrappy underdog…
Raiders knocked Chiefs off in Week 17 last year. They said we were playing for nothing, but instead Raiders came in motivated and vicious, paving the way for the Raven easy victory in Round One. It would be easy to see Chargers coming in and playing strong as well. Raiders MUST give this game their absolute best shot, any sign of weakness and SD will go for the throat.
What we need to see on Sunday:
Raider D must knock the HELL out of Rivers, if he has time to throw he will shred our secondary.
Bush & Jones break through the front lines and run the football.
STOP THE RUN!!
STOP THE PENALTIES!!
STOP THE TURNOVERS!!
All the same things we’ve been struggling with all year. Now is the time to break free from these illnesses and get healthy for the postseason, if we’re lucky, and for the seasons to come.
Everything is on the line and as Raider fans we’ve seen many of these go bad in the last few years. A new age may be dawning and it begins on Sunday.