NFL Playoffs 2017: Oakland Raiders and Detroit Lions Luck Runs Out

Luck has run out for some teams backing into the 2017 NFL Playoffs.

Our 2017 NFL playoff field is set, thanks to a couple of interesting collapses in Week 17. The Oakland Raiders could have clinched a bye in the AFC playoffs and grabbed the conference’s second seed. All they had to do was win over a Denver team that had already been eliminated. No such luck.

The Washington Redskins controlled their own future. All they had to do to get into the postseason was defeat a New York team that was already set in its seed and had nothing to play for. The Detroit Lions had a chance for a home playoff game but instead will be forced to travel to Seattle in round one. Luck has run out.

Two brothers from New York, Dan Salem and Todd Salem discuss the 2017 NFL Playoffs in today’s NFL Sports Debate.

Todd Salem:

Luck is running out, but maybe “collapse” is too strong of a word to describe the Detroit Lions’ performance. After all, their opponent was playing for the same thing. In the case of Oakland and Washington, though, they had all the incentive while their respective opponents had none beyond professional pride.

Obviously the Redskins’ failure had a larger impact. They went from in the postseason with a win to out of it entirely. Oakland’s drop was just from one seed to another. However, with the situation at quarterback for the Raiders, they could have really used the better seed.

Matt McGloin was Derek Carr‘s replacement, until he got hurt as well and rookie Connor Cook was forced into the lineup. Now, whether it’s McGloin or Cook starting the team’s first postseason game, it would have been highly beneficial to be the two seed and receive a bye week to prepare. According to NFL Network coverage, “should Cook get the nod in Houston, he will be the first QB in the Super Bowl era to get his first career start in the postseason.” Instead of an extra week to prepare and/or heal, whichever quarterback and the Raiders are traveling to Houston to play a round-one contest this Saturday. They play in the very first postseason game.

It is hard to expect that quarterback situation to come through in Denver to win a game, but this is a team that went 12-3 before Sunday. That cannot all be on Carr. There are numerous other talented players across this roster from the offensive line to receivers to pass rushers. Those are the guys that needed to step up to win this Broncos game. At least Oakland is still in the playoffs I suppose, which is more than can be said of Washington.

Dan Salem:

I’d be more disappointed in the Washington Redskins if they’d shown any kind of consistency this season. Even though the Giants weren’t playing their best lineup, New York is an infinitely better football team. The Redskins loss was the Lions’ gain, allowing them to back into the postseason along with Oakland.

I like this Detroit team, but their luck has likely run out. They are lucky to be facing the Seattle Seahawks rather than New York or Green Bay. At least Seattle has been playing down to its competition and looking average while doing so. Neither the Lions or Seahawks are hot right now, so Detroit has a shot. Yet if home field advantage is real, then reaching the playoffs will be the only victory that the Lions achieve this season.

Its a similar story for the Oakland Raiders. I don’t believe we have another Tom Brady Cinderella story on our hands. Oakland’s rookie quarterback, if called upon, will not be good enough to win on the road against a potent Texans defense. I don’t believe McGloin is good enough to beat Houston either. Because the Raiders offense is not elite without Carr, this becomes a battle of defenses. Houston’s defense wins in a landslide, meaning the team comes out victorious at home to open the playoffs.

Being a fan of the sport, I can enjoy the small successes of teams like Oakland and Detroit this season. Yet I realize their fans will not be happy. Losing in the Wild Card Round after fighting so hard to get there is always a major let down for fans. Such is life. Luck has run out for the Lions and Raiders.

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