For the first time in over a decade, the Oakland Raiders are heading back to the postseason as they defeated the San Diego Chargers 19-16 in Week 15 to move to 11-3 on the season.
Oakland’s last postseason appearance was in 2002-03 when they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Super Bowl. That was also the last winning season for the Raiders.
While they have clinched the postseason birth, the Raiders and head coach Jack Del Rio have bigger goals and aspirations as they want to win their first division title since 2002, via Josh Dubow of Yahoo! Sports:
”I’m excited for the fans,” Del Rio said Monday. ”To be in the playoffs, and there’s been a drought here. We got here two years ago and talked about winning the division and being in the playoffs. The being in the playoffs part is there, the winning the division is still to be determined. So we need to continue to work on that, let the fans enjoy the other part, but as a team we’ve got to get back to work.”
Del Rio believes that his team has not yet reached its full potential, and that a perfect effort will lead to winning more games:
”We’ve seen glimpses of what we’re capable of, we want to be in constant pursuit of a perfect performance, and the perfection is not really in the end result, the perfection is in the effort that you give,” Del Rio said. ”We’re looking to give tremendous effort, clean up what we can, be very competitive and continue to win situations and win games.”
The Raiders currently have the second best record in the AFC behind only the New England Patriots, so if they win their last two games then they will receive a first round bye and then host their opponent in the second round.
Oakland’s last home game is this Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts before traveling to the Denver Broncos to close out the regular season.