With most wins (or losses), an NFL team has one, maybe two days to enjoy it before it's back to work preparing for their next opponent. In that regard, it's only fair the Raiders, who hadn't won a game in over a calendar year, get to enjoy their big 24-20 win over the Chiefs on Thursday night for a bit longer.
While the rest of the NFL is having their final practice preparing to play this Sunday, the Raiders are all hugs, hand pounds, and back pats. They can relax and enjoy some college football Saturday as well as the rest of the NFL on Sunday. Or they can just get away altogether for a few days.
After two hard-fought division rival games in five days, they earned it.
The players aren't due back at the facility until Monday and don't practice full again until Wednesday which is three full days away and five days of rest before they begin preparation to head to St Louis next week.
"You can never forget that feeling," Tony Sparano said after the Raiders win Thursday night. "It's been a long time since we had that feeling, but we're going to take our time right now here with a couple days off and get a chance to enjoy it a little bit. It's the nice thing about playing on a Thursday, get a chance to sit back a little bit, take a deep breath and enjoy it a little bit. We're going to do that and we're going to get back to work and we're going to try to win another one."
The long week will also serve as a chance for some of the Raiders injured players to get healthy again. Sparano said on Friday that he was optimistic both T.J. Carrie and Gabe Jackson will return next week from their injuries and be ready for the Rams.
Also, in the game, a couple of the Raiders' better performers left with injury -- Latavius Murray and Larry Asante.
Murray left with a concussion after running for 112 yards and 2 touchdowns on 4 carries. He jogged off the field and into the locker room following the hit he took that gave him the concussion and caused him to fumbled the football. The long week will greatly raise the odds that he can return to practice with his teammates and pass through the concussion protocol and be cleared to play.
Asante suffered a shoulder injury in the game. He returned to the game later on but having a few days to rest up will do him some good. He made a lot of big tackles Thursday and now could be his chance to parlay that into a more sustained job on this team.
Carrie had been practicing limited with an ankle injury and was ruled out versus the Chiefs. The rookie seventh round pick has played well this season as a nickel and starting corner and the Raiders could very much use his services with Carlos Rogers still out with a knee injury of his own.
Raiders fans have the weekend to recover from their celebration as well. Now go enjoy some Sunday football without that 'Oh, man THAT's what a real football team looks like' feeling while watching other teams play. This week, your team looked like a real football team. Feel good about that.