Oakland Raiders: Notes And Observations From Week Ten

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November 15, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio (right) argues with NFL side judge Keith Washington (7) during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings against the Minnesota Vikings at O.co Coliseum. The Vikings defeated the Raiders 30-14. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders‘ week ten game against the Minnesota Vikings while perhaps not a “must win” was still a game that they really could have used. Unfortunately, the Raiders came out flat, never got on track either offensively or defensively, and paid the price. Now, they’re on the outside of the playoff picture looking in, and are going to need a lot of help if they hope to make the postseason dance.

A couple of weeks back, the Raiders had just beaten the New York Jets to move to 4-3 on the season and boldly inserted themselves into the wild card race. Now, riding a two game losing streak, Oakland sits at 4-5 on the season and sit behind the likes of Buffalo (5-4), the New York Jets (5-4), and Pittsburgh (6-4) in the wild card hunt.

Even worse, the Raiders find themselves mired in a logjam of teams who also sit at 4-5 in Miami, Indianapolis, Houston, and Kansas City.

All of that is to say that the Raiders are going to need to get back on the winning track and hope for a lot of misfortune from a gaggle of other teams. They’ll need to somehow gain separation from Miami, Indianapolis/Houston – one of those two teams will win the dreadful AFC South, leaving one in the wild card fight – and Kansas City.

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Given the fact that they have two games head to head with Kansas City, if they play well and are able to notch wins, they will get that separation. But not having Miami, Indianapolis, or Houston on the schedule means that they will need two of those three teams to stumble along the way.

However, that’s just one piece of the puzzle. To have a shot at the playoffs, the Raiders will also need the Bills, Jets, and Steelers to run into problems as well. They own the head to head tiebreaker with the Jets, but by virtue of their loss in Pittsburgh, the Steelers own the tiebreaker against them.

While there is still a lot of football left to be played and there are still a lot of moving parts, anything can still happen. But with seven games left on their schedule, time is beginning to run short. The Raiders are going to need to get back on the ball and get back to winning some ballgames.

As for week ten, it’s in the books. It’s over and done with and it’s on to the Lions. But they need to learn what went wrong against the Vikings last Sunday and not repeat those mistakes. Here are some notes and observations from week ten.

Next: Week Ten Recap