My thoughts as Sebastian Janikowski kicks the Oakland Raiders into the post-season with a 16-13 win over the Chargers, in San Diego, in front of a pro-Raiders crowd.
Congratulations Raider Nation, your team is in the playoffs. Finally. And yes, it feels as good as you would expect. Since the Chiefs lost, the Raiders control their own destiny to the #2 seed.
Just Win Baby! Again!
Jack Del Rio is still looking for his team to play a complete game. He will gladly take the wins while he does. 10 of their 14 games have been decided by 8 points or less. The Raiders are 8-2 in those games.
Carr and his finger
Another game with zero snaps under center, which brings the total to three games in a row. The pinky is either crazy sore or the staff is being overly cautious. I mean, they didn’t even take the victory snaps from under center.
At least with this game, Carr’s accuracy improved. He was back completing over 60% of his passes, which he had done all season, except for the last two games dealing with that injury.
Division Foes don’t lie down
On paper, with all the injuries the Chargers had, this was supposed to be an easy win for the Raiders. But these guys are division foes, they don’t like each other, so there is more to play for than against any other team. It showed on Sunday.
San Diego is out of the playoffs, but they played a full 60 minutes and wanted that game badly. Expect the same from the Broncos to end the regular season.
Defense is making plays
With the Raiders offense sputtering, the defense once again created a turnover in the red zone to try and turn the tide of the game. Unlike last week in KC, this time the Raiders did enough to win. It’s everyone chipping in. This week it is was middle linebacker Perry Riley causing the fumble that lead to the winning points.
Offensive play calling out of sync
I don’t know what it is, but it seems like the play calling on offense has been out of sync the last three games. Maybe it’s because two of those games were against division rivals.
But it just seemed like they should have ran it when they passed and should have passed it when they ran. We would get gaping runs, then nothing would come of the drive.
The red zone is officially an issue now, as they have gone barely over a 50% TD rate the last three games. Prior to that stretch, they had a well over 60% red zone TD rate.
The Raiders can set themselves up nicely here in the next two weeks. If they win out, they are guaranteed to be the #2 seed in the AFC and host a division playoff game. They host the Colts this week coming up and have plenty still to play for.