The Las Vegas Raiders, currently 7-7 after last night’s loss, suffered a horrific collapse since week 10 when they were 6-3, with the easiest remaining schedule.
After starting the season 2-2, the Raiders had a good stretch of games that saw them sitting at 6-3 in November. Included in those 6 wins were impressive victories against the Saints, Broncos, and Chiefs.
However, since they beat Denver in week 10, Jon Gruden and his Raiders have lost all but one game. The sole win came against the worst team in the NFL-the winless Jets.
To make matters worse, the only reason Las Vegas managed to edge past the Jets was because of a last minute Hail Mary, courtesy of Gregg Williams deciding to send 8 pass rushers.
The #Raiders were 6-3 and had the “easiest” remaining schedule in the NFL. They’ve lost 4 out of 5 and it really should be all 5 if not for Gregg Williams calling a cover zero blitz and gifting them a win. Just an ugly collapse and another disappointing season.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 18, 2020
Las Vegas Raiders Lose Important TNF Game Against Chargers
The Raiders fell 30-27 in overtime against LA last night, in a game that was vital to keeping their playoff hopes alive. Derek Carr came out with a groin injury early in the game, and his backup Marcus Mariota took the field instead.
Mariota kept the game close, throwing for 226 yards and a TD to eventually force overtime. The Raiders got the ball and it looked as though they could get the improbable win too.
However, they were faced with a 4th down situation and decided to kick the field goal instead of trying to win a fresh set of downs. Soon after, Justin Herbert marched the Chargers down the field and scored the game winning touchdown.
“If it was a little bit closer, I would have considered going for it,” HC Jon Gruden said when asked about the decision. “But to take the lead with three minutes left I thought was the play to make at that time.”
“It’s on me. It was tough. I’m really proud of our coaches and our players. We did a lot of good things tonight. But you’ve got to win these tight games. And often times, that’s a reflection on the head coach.”
Raiders’ Playoff Hopes: Down, But Not Out Yet
The loss against LA is a real punch in the throat for Raiders fans. Their chance to make the playoffs, which was already low, just got much worse.
Assuming that neither the Browns or the Colts lose 3 in a row, the last wildcard spot is up for grabs between the Raiders, Dolphins, and Ravens.
Both the Dolphins and Ravens are 8-5 and the Raiders will need both teams to win no more than 1 game from here out. This is highly unlikely in Baltimore’s case considering their final 3 games are against the Jags, Giants, and Bengals.
Interestingly, the Dolphins and Raiders play against each other next week. Needless to say, this game and the final one against Denver are both must wins for Gruden’s men.
If all 3 teams tie at 9-7, then the Raiders will actually progress on the basis of their conference record. So technically speaking, there’s still a chance but it remains highly unlikely that the team will see the postseason in their first year in Vegas.