Normally its nervous fans such as myself that start defining games in mid-October as “Must-Win”. That term gets tossed around as casually as a football by Papa John. But that doesn’t mean every time someone goes to the “Must-Win” card that they’re talking out of their rears like Ace Ventura.
In the case of Sunday’s clash between the Raiders and Jaguars the term “must-win” is being utilized by Oakland’s starting quarterback. Carson Palmer isn’t shying away from how important Sunday is. He knows if the Silver and Black fall to 1-5 that their faint playoff hopes will be beaten Black and Blue.
So I’m not just some desperate blogger looking to get more eyes on my ramblings. I’m of the same belief as Carson.
Sunday is a complete do-or-die contest for the Raiders and the outcome will define the rest of the season.
A win will keep the Raiders in the hunt with the rest of the up and down AFC West. With a bye week on the slate for the rest of the division the Raiders can gain ground on the entire division. With all due respect to Jacksonville, an effort that we saw in Atlanta last week will certainly put victory in sight for Dennis Allen.
Now a loss on the other hand will officially begin the full reboot of the Raiders. Not that Reggie McKenzie hadn’t already pulled the plug on plenty of other Oakland experiments, but a 1-5 record will make the rest of the season a wash.
Even if we’re to assume 7 wins could be good enough to take the AFC Worst crown then asking Oakland to go 6-4 for the rest of the season is a tall order. Especially when you consider how much help the Raiders would need in order to stay alive with a sub-.500 mark.
No matter how you slice it the Raiders need to start playing their best ball of the season starting Sunday. There are no moral victories in the NFL so last week’s effort means little in the grand scheme. However as a building block Coach Allen and his staff laid down the best foundation possible. Now all that remains is for that same sense of urgency to carry over against the Jaguars.