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AFC West Mix tape review: Looking ahead to rest of Raiders season

We break down where the Raiders sit with seven games of the 2022 season to go

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders
Josh McDaniels
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This week, we held our November AFC West Mix Tape podcast featuring the four editors of SB Nation’s sites in the division. Let’s break down my segments:

One word to describe the Raiders’ season:

Lackluster. Yes, things are somewhat better an overtime win at Denver in Week 11. But the reality is Las Vegas is 3-7 in a year where a big playoff run was expected. The win over the Broncos soothes some things, but it has been a lackluster season thus far, indeed.

How the Las Vegas Raiders can make the playoffs:

We were asked to give a best-case scenario, describing how the Raiders can make the playoffs. It probably starts with running the table in the final seven games to go 10-7 and duplicate last season’s record. Maybe a 9-8 team can sneak into the AFC playoffs, but Las Vegas is trailing eight teams by, at least, three games as we enter the final week of November play. The only way the Raiders can make the playoffs is if the offense executes like it did at the end of the Denver game on a regular basis, the defense makes major and sudden improvements and they have some luck like they did at the end of last season. It’s not over, but a lot of things have to happen for the Raiders to return to the postseason.

Looking ahead to draft:

I was asked to give what area I think the Raiders will look at in the first round. Of course, it all depends on where the Raiders pick. They could go for pass-rusher or even a quarterback if they’re slotted in the right spot. But, I think we should start on the offensive line because the Raiders are still a work in progress there. But, of course, it’s more than five months before the draft, so all options are open.

Arizona Cardinals v Las Vegas Raiders
Patrick Graham, Josh McDaniels
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Will there be major change?

I was asked if the Raiders are likely to make any major changes. After the words of owner Mark Davis last week, it appears McDaniels will be back in Las Vegas in 2023 for a second season.

Yet, unless the Raiders make a serious run at the playoffs, their could be some scapegoats for a disappointing 2022 season. Among those candidates could include quarterback Derek Carr and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. Will it happen? The next seven games will tell the story.