They say perfection comes at a price. For the 2010 Oakland Raiders the price of perfection could cost them a playoff birth. In one of the most impossible of circumstances imaginable, the Raiders could miss out on the postseason all together despite being a perfect 6-0 in the AFC West.
As it stands right now, the Silver and Black are a full two games behind the Kansas City Chiefs with two left to play. KC takes on the struggling Tennessee Titans before welcoming the Raiders into Arrowhead for the season finale. Another Chiefs win would end all playoff hopes for Raider Nation. There is only one route to the playoffs and that is to win the division.
Of course, there are also those San Diego Chargers sitting one game in front of the Raiders. The Dolts have a pretty nice path cleared for them to make a playoff push. With Cincinnati and Denver on the docket it would seem not even Norv Turner could ruin the Chargers’ playoff prospects.
That leaves the Raiders needing help from a lot of different places.
How different things could have been? Outside of the AFC West the Raiders are just 2-7. Considering they got a softball by pulling the NFC West it becomes even more frustrating. A Janikowski miss in Arizona and a dismal performance in San Francisco all but guaranteed the Raiders were doomed to flirt with this unwanted sort of history.
In short, the Raiders could become the first team since the merger in 1970 to accomplish this pointless perfection.
To be sure Tom Cable and his staff deserve a lot of credit. This franchise was the AFC West doormat for the better part of the last decade. Sweeping the Chargers, dominating Denver and potentially running through the Chiefs is a great accomplishment. Beating your divisional foes is always priority number one and no matter how the season ends the record will show the 2010 Raiders owned the AFC West.
There is still a chance and so long as that chance exists there is reason for hope. The reality is the only true hope could be that the growth seen this year continues next. For now, let’s just focus on beating the Colts and putting their playoff prospects in doubt.