Quick Hit: Raiders In A Good Spot

by Jim Turvey

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Anyone who frequents Three Bridge Sports will know that on Tuesday I officially pulled the plug on any hope I had of the Raiders somehow sneaking into the playoffs (I tend to hold on to things too long), and moved into NFL draft mode.

Last week I highlighted ten players who Raiders’ fans should keep an eye on in the final four weeks, as most of them were fighting for spots on next year’s roster. That list is relevant once again, but Weeks 15-17 offer another reason to watch the Raiders, divisional play. The AFC West is chock-full of rivalries, and the Raiders would love to ruin any of these teams’ seasons.

The first chance comes this Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs come to town having lost three of their last four, but also having dominated Washington last week. The two teams matched up in Week 6, with the Chiefs wining 24-7, although the game was closer than the score indicated. The Chiefs are pretty much a mortal lock for the playoffs, but with Denver’s loss last night, their chances at the division title have once again been sparked.

And how nice would it be to smother those hopes?

Now, the Chiefs have far more to play for than the Raiders, and the play on the field on Sunday may very well be representative of that, but that’s the beauty of the position the Raiders are in these next three weeks. They play three divisional opponents, all of whom will be playing games of high importance for either playoff qualification (San Diego), or playoff seeding (Kansas City and Denver). If the Raiders are able to play spoiler to any of these teams – great. Seeing a divisional opponent lose is always great, and the win would almost certainly build confidence for the Raiders next year.

However, they’ve also covered themselves in the case of losses. Every loss the Raiders suffer brings them closer to the top of next year’s draft, which at this point in the Raiders’ rebuilding process, is probably what Raiders’ fans should be rooting for.

Of course, a glass half-empty type might look at this situation and say it’s a lose-lose, with the Raiders either costing themselves draft spots or losing to divisional opponents.

I, however, like to see it as win-win, so let’s get out there Sunday and get a win.

Author: Jim Turvey

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