Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Nine

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Nov 8, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Oakland Raiders tight end Clive Walford (88) and wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) congratulate wide receiver Michael Crabtree (middle) after Crabtree scored a twenty-two yard touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

They Still Control Their Own Destiny

As devastating and gut wrenching as the loss to Pittsburgh was, the Raiders still control their own playoff destiny. At 4-4, the Raiders are one of a very few teams without a losing record.

The top of the AFC is very clear and pretty well set. The Denver Broncos (7-1), New England Patriots (8-0), Cincinnati Bengals (8-0), are cruising. The 4-5 Indianapolis Colts are currently leading their division – because somebody has to win that division.

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Which leaves the two wild card spots. Pittsburgh (5-4) the New York Jets (5-3) Buffalo Bills (4-4) and the 4-4 Raiders are all battling it out for those final two spots.

The Raiders own the head up tiebreaker with the Jets by virtue of their big win two weeks ago. With Ben Roethlisberger out again for a few weeks, the fate of the Steelers is up in the air. And you just never know what to expect with Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills, but they’ve got a difficult road to travel with some touch games looming.

If the Raiders are going to make the playoffs this season, their fate is in their own hands. They are in a good position as they enter the second half of their schedule with a number of very winnable games coming up. In fact, as of right now, they have just two games left against teams with winning records – the Green Bay Packers and the Denver Broncos.

The last time the Raiders squared off with Denver, it was a tough fight that came down to Oakland’s mistakes which cost them the game.

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The Raiders have a favorable schedule and all of the pieces in place to make a push for the postseason. They just need to bring it all together and play like they did against the Chargers and the Jets and not like they played against the Steelers.

Their fate is in their hands. All they need to do is step up and seize it.