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Raiders role remainder of season: Spoilers

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Marshall Faulk asks: To be GMC Professional Grade, you need to be driven. Assessing the second half of the season, how do you see your team playing coming down the stretch, in terms of the playoffs? What role does your team play in this final stretch? Is it spoiler, hunter, or contender? What do they need to do if they have a chance to get into the playoffs?

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At 0-8, the only 'hunting' or 'contending' the Raiders will be doing is the for the number one overall pick. Along the way, they will be trying to play spoiler. And they'll have a lot of chances to do it.

Every one of the Raiders final 8 opponents down the stretch are either a contender or in the hunt for a playoff spot. They only face one team that currently has a losing record and that's the Rams who have already been playing spoilers with two of their three wins coming against division rivals 49ers and Seahawks.

All other teams will be counting the Raiders game as a win or worrying about the trap game. The Raiders are seeking their first win and whichever team is the unlucky victim could suffer a big blow to their playoff hopes.

Their remainaing schedule looks like this:

Denver Broncos -- 6-2, 1st in AFC West
at San Diego Chargers -- 5-4, 3rd in AFC West
Kansas City Chiefs -- 5-3, 2nd in AFC West
at St Louis Rams -- 3-5, 4th in NFC West
San Francisco 49ers -- 4-4, 3rd in NFC West
at Kansas City Chiefs -- 5-3, 2nd in AFC West
Buffalo Bills -- 5-3, 2nd in AFC East
at Denver Broncos -- 6-2, 1st in AFC West

From what I can tell, the Raiders best chance for a win over the remaining 8 games comes in two weeks in San Diego. The Chargers are reeling, having lost three-straight, including getting shut out/blown out in Miami 37-0. Prior to their 3-game skid, the Raiders played them tough at home, and the large Raiders fan contingency in San Diego makes it practically another home game for the Raiders. A win there would drop the Chargers to .500 with a tough schedule ahead.

By the time the Raiders play the Rams in week 13, their season will very much be in the balance. With five losses already, they won't be able to afford many more and still get into the playoffs.

The 49ers have been struggling lately as well. They've already fallen to 4-4 with division losses to the Rams and Cardinals and are looking up at the Seahawks and Cardinals as they hope to sneak in. A loss in Oakland in week 14 could be devastating.

A surprise team this year has been the Bills who sit at 5-3. They share a division with the Patriots and a suddenly very strong Dolphins team, of whom also has a 5-3 record. That will be a hotly contested division and the Patriots and Dolphins have already beat the Raiders. If the Bills were to lose to the Raiders, that could be huge.

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