Oakland Raiders: 3 Ways They Can Clinch A Playoff Spot


It’s amazing to think it’s been 12 years since the Oakland Raiders had a playoff run in the NFL.  Can they finally break that streak this season?

Matt Schaub and James Jones must prove worthy

Part of the problem that the Raiders really haven’t solved since that time is the quarterback position.  Since the retirement of former MVP Rich Gannon the team has trotted a series of underachievers, has-beens and busts onto the field including JaMarcus Russell, Daunte Culpepper, Bruce Gradkowski, Carson Palmer and Terrelle Pryor.  Not only has it not worked they haven’t even gotten close to the playoffs.  Their latest attempt though might be their best.  Veteran Matt Schaub arrives via trade from Houston.  He has playoff experience and is a two-time Pro Bowler.  He knows what it takes to get to the mountaintop.  The same goes for his newest weapon, wide receiver James Jones who won a Super Bowl in Green Bay.  These two must not only play well, but lead the way for the other young players on the roster if the Oakland Raiders are to win.

Dennis Allen needs his new defense to produce

That same burden also falls on head coach Dennis Allen.  As any man who has been a head coach can say, patience always wears out by the third season.  If a coach has suffered through two losing campaign, he must win in his third one or he will be fired in favor of somebody else.  Allen now stares his third season down.  Can he get the team to play?  A lot of it rests on his newly rebuilt defense.  Thanks to a furious free agency that brought in veterans like Justin Tuck, Tarell Brown and LaMarr Woodley and a draft that added Khalil Mack his unit, on paper, looks ready to go.  Obviously they need to execute, but it falls to Allen as a defensive coach to lead the way until his equally new offense can begin to gel.

Navigating brutal schedule rests on division

Naturally though everything hinges on how the NFL schedule falls for the Oakland Raiders in 2014.  There is no getting around reality.  It is a brutal gauntlet for a rebuilding team to face.  Among their slates includes visits to the New England Patriots and world champion Seattle Seahawks, places that are hard even for contenders to win.  How the Raiders play in those venues will show whether they are on the right track.  Meanwhile, their ultimate fate rests as it always does on the AFC West.  If they want any hope of reaching January they have to post a winning division record, which is a tall order considering Denver, Kansas City and San Diego all went to the playoffs last year.

In the end the Raiders are left with the same statement their late, beloved owner Al Davis made for so many years as the answer.  Just win, baby.

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  • Derek Gray

    Need to go 4-2 in the division and win at least one of the east coast trips to have a legit chance. Stranger things have happened. Here’s to a bright silver n black future!!

    • Dean Gray

      I think we can def win more than one east coast battle and we beat the chargers and Kc both times we need to beat Denver at least once and we got it !

  • KloverJane

    Interceptions, sacks, on DEFENSE and TDs on OFFENSE all caused by Oakland. It all sounds good on virtual paper. There’s no reason why we can’t sweep the division again. And the traveling jet lag excuse is a Dramamine pill away from reality. No excuses, no mercy, no quarter! The autumn wind cometh!

  • Chris Schroeder

    Don’t say they haven’t even come close to the playoffs because they did come very close to the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 with back-to-back eight and eight records. In fact in 2011 if they would have won the very last game of the season against the chargers that would’ve put them in the playoffs that year. So spare your readers the dramatics be making it sound like they haven’t even come close in the last 12 years because that is a bunch of BS. It makes true raider fans like myself look at you like you don’t know what you talking about.

    • Charles King

      I was at that game against the Chargers man, Tebow’s Broncos lost earlier that day and put us in position to clinch a spot if we got the win against the chargers. It seemed like the stars were alining but no pressure on Rivers all game and Carson Palmer doing what he did a couple of times that season in tossing an interception during crunch time. Ruined a great frikin tailgate. I have much higher hopes for this years squad

      • Scott Freeman

        Damn I was there too and we couldn’t stop ‘em in the 2nd half. Very disappointing day, but a new dawn is coming!

  • Raider Grant

    Wether or not we make the playoffs, we’ll be a better team this year! Go Raiders

  • Eric Kench

    More nonsense!!! In Kerry Collins and Carson Palmer they had two good QBs. During their tenures the old man’s defense let this team down.

  • Abel Tovar

    Raider fans can’t be this stupid…can they? Playoffs? You guys will be lucky to win 5 games. This team made of overpaid elderly players isn’t going to do anything in their own division or against the NFC west. 0-10 right there.

    • al

      go deliver some newspapers

    • Raider Grant

      Your lack of football knowledge proves your ignorance, now buzz along! Go Raiders

  • james fone jr

    RAIDERS….2014…..95% of NFL thinks the RAIDERS suck….. WE WILL BE UNDERDOGS….ALMOST EVERY GAME….. SO WE WILL BE HANGING ON WITH OUR DEFENSE!!!!! RAIDER NATION … HANG-ON…… WE’RE IN FOR A WILD…. 2014…. JUST WIN BABY!!!!!! GO….RAIDERS….2014…..

  • Sukkafishinc KC

    Worst article ever written.