Every game is important but there are few more important than the dreaded 1-2 game. Win and you're at .500 after a quarter of the season is through, you feel momentum on your side and you have a 36% chance of making the playoffs. Lose on the other hand and you fall to .250 after 4 games, the pressure is magnified and your chance of making the playoffs drops to 14%.
Just to emphasize how important this game is, here is one more stat for you; 6 teams made the playoffs last year while starting 2-2, no team made it after starting 1-3.
Basically if the Raiders want to surprise the world by making the playoffs this year then it all starts at the O.co Colliseum tomorrow against the Washington Redskins. Yes, I know what will come in response to these stats being brought up.
The thing is, I don't care if this looks like a playoff team yet or not. At this time of year anything can happen and Oakland making it to the post season is still a possibility. That possibility gets it's legs taken out with a 1-3 start though. Even if the Raiders lose I will still be cheering like a boxer's trainer yelling from outside the ring for them to stand back up, but that optimism would likely end up being for naught.
If there are any Washington fans reading this they are likely trying like hell to hold onto their optimism. The best they can even get up to is 1-3 and that awfully low looking 14% playoff shot. They already are feeling down being 0-3 which has only seen 3 teams since 1990 to make the playoffs but that's not as bad as only 1 team in history starting 0-4 (92' Chargers) and making it to the tournament.
The Redskins are dying to show that they are a far better team than their record suggests and are going to be a tough match up. The Raiders have the better record and are at home but still are the underdog in this match up which shows just how far Oakland has still to go to earn some respect.
Win and earn some of that desired respect along with realistic odds of making it to the playoffs, but lose Sunday and convince the world they were right about you all along. Good luck Raiders, it doesn't get more important than this game in the 1st quarter of the season.