The Las Vegas Raiders have not lived up to the lofty expectations they came into the season with. With Derek Carr at the helm, and one of the best collections of skill position players in the league, led by Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs, many believed the Raiders would challenge for the AFC West crown.
But a rough start to the season with multiple blown leads has put the Raiders’ chances at a postseason run extremely slim. While the Raiders have looked better in the past month, they are still two games below .500 and tied for 10th in the AFC, two games out of the playoffs with just three remaining.
Though it is unlikely, it is still possible for the Raiders to make a run, and that’s all Carr needs to believe. That belief is no doubt helped by the run the Raiders went on just last season, so despite the odds not being in their favor, Carr is not giving up that hope on a playoff run, via Andrew Ayala of Raider Rambler:
“I mean, we had a five percent chance last year, or whatever it was so crazier things have happened. But none of that even matters unless we take care of today and win this week.”
Last season the Raiders had a stretch of five losses in six games that seemed to end things, especially considering all of the turmoil the team was dealing with. But Carr led the Raiders to victories in their last four games, including a winner-take-all game against the Chargers in the final week to make the playoffs.
They will need another run like that in order to return to the playoffs, and they got off to a good start with Sunday’s unbelievable win over the New England Patriots. Chandler Jones intercepted a lateral on the final play of regulation with the score tied and ran it back in for a touchdown with no time remaining for the victory.
An improbable playoff run will need some improbable plays, and that’s what went down on Sunday, but the Raiders still have a long road. The schedule is not kind, with a trip to Pittsburgh to play the Steelers on Christmas Eve followed by home games against the 49ers and Chiefs to end the season.
And not only will the Raiders need to sweep those games, but they will also need some help from the Chargers, Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, and Jaguars losing some games. But like Carr said, crazier things have happened, and the Raiders just benefitted one of those crazy things, so until they’re mathematically eliminated, Carr and the Raiders will continue doing everything they can to make that playoff run a reality.