I am very upset about this last loss, just like many of you. However there are far too many comments saying our season is done. I have even seen a couple where people were worried that we might not even match last season's record. We will finish this season with a winning record, and we are still in a decent spot for making the playoffs. I am worried too, more so than I have been at any time this year, but that doesn't mean that the sky is falling!! Chicken Little needs to get her butt back to her home and shut the hell up for awhile.
This loss was disgusting, and we did not look like a playoff team. We did not look even as good as we had last year. How about the 3 straight wins before that?! If we were the team that showed up against Miami would we be sitting at 7-5 right now? Just because Denver is on a roll does not mean we are suddenly going to tuck our tails and run. We have overcome more than this already this year. We lost another game we should have won, so lets go out and win another game we are suppose to lose. Just one of these next two against quality opponents and we are still in a decent position.
These next two games might end up deciding our season obviously but I see no reason we can not compete against them. Especially if we can finally get DMC back on the field. It was painfully obvious that we needed him against the Dolphins and both Detroit and Green Bay have better defenses than the Dolphins (Even if it did not look that way in that game). Without Darren McFadden against these teams and our chances do go down drastically. Jump over for more....
I believe we have a strong chance against either team (Relative to other Team's chances against them) if we stick to our strength of running the ball. I don't care if we are not getting yards in the beginning, we need to keep running the ball and not get stuck in an air it out attack against them. I know, "They are too high powered! We have to score to beat them!", but no I don't think that is the case. I think we need to hold onto the ball and keep the scoring as low as possible. We will not win air it out battles against either team, so lets make them play our game instead of fall into their trap of playing their way.
Even if Denver were to win the division it doesn't mean we can't make the playoffs. We are right in the middle of the pack for one of the Wildcards as well. Pittsburgh or Baltimore are going to get one of the wildcards, if there is anything we can be certain of then that is it. That leaves us fighting with Cincinnati (7-5), Tennessee (7-5), and the NY Jets (7-5).
We already own a tie breaker over one of those teams after having beaten the NY Jets earlier this year. The Jets might actually have the easiest schedule out of all four of us AFC teams sitting at 7-5; They play KC next week who they probably win against, then Philly who I think will beat them, the Giants who share their stadium and always make an interesting match up, and finish up at Miami who owes us a favor after we laid down so gently against them. Since they lose the tie breaker with us they have to win one more game than we do, and that is not going to be that easy to do.
As for Cincinnati, it is a lot of pressure for a rookie QB to win games down the stretch to make the playoffs. Many fail for a reason. Andy Dalton might be cold stone slick enough to do it, but 1 of his 4 remaining match ups is against the Ravens. Call me a cynic but I think the rookie looses that game. They also play Houston which despite having TJ Yates at the helm I consider a strong favorite against the Bengals. The other two are teams playing for pride in St Louis and Arizona, just ask the Cowboys if games like that are a cake walk.
With Tennessee they also have a very tough game coming up this week against the Saints. I think they lose that game. Their remaining schedule goes in order Indy, Jacksonville, and then Houston. Indy is the worst team in the league, but that is a divisional rivalry that is always interesting. If Indy is still win-less at that point the Titan game might be the game that they finally win. Records go out the window in rivalry games like that. Jacksonville and Houston are also divisional rivalries making their remaining 4 games very difficult.
It probably does come down to us winning one of those two games against the NFC North powerhouses, and our two divisional games remaining but I believe this team can do that. We lost handily to the Chiefs earlier this year because of our obvious QB malfunctions. We are not the same team as that one. We have the ability to get revenge on them for that embarrassing loss and I think we are going to. Obviously, nobody knows what is going to happen. Even if this season was not already completely unpredictable, Chiefs/Raiders games are always a toss up.
As for the Chargers I also think we can win this game. In the history of Raiders/Chargers games it seems like one team always gets on a roll for a few years. If this keeps up then history is on our side, because it has been our turn to be on a roll. It would be a great feeling to sweep them two years in a row after the extremely long win streak that they were on against us before last year. What was it 8 in a row? 4 years straight of losing to them? Lets do it back to them, and climb over their back right into the playoffs.
Denver keeps winning close games, which means even on a winning streak they have no room for error. They play the Bears this week, who now will be without Matt Forte. Obviously some being with a lot more clout than us mortals is helping the Broncos. Even so, the Bears live off defense and are a team to be feared. Even without their stars they could beat the Broncos. After the Bears the Broncos have, in order, New England, Buffalo and then finish against the Chiefs. Look at that schedule and tell me they win out. I just don't see it. I fully admit to not seeing them even being where they are at though, so take it for what its worth.
I know this has been a very long post. However, I think it shows clearly that we have a lot of season to go. We can still win our division, and if not we can still win a wild card birth. We have overcome a lot just to be at this position, and its time to over come some more. We can do this people. Pick up yourselves and hold your heads high. We Are Raider Nation and WE ARE IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT!