The Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders are two franchises headed in much different directions. Peyton Manning has resurrected Super Bow talk in Denver while Dennis Allen put playoff talk to bed back in September for Oakland.
Last week the Broncos clinched the AFC West while the Raiders were once again eliminated from playoff contention. It’s been a decade since the Raiders have had a winning season let alone tasted postseason action. This season is devolving into one of the worst in Raiders’ history with 5 straight losses of the most embarrassing variety.
If all you’re looking at are the numbers on paper then there isn’t much reason to believe the Raiders have any chance of victory.
Funny thing about sports is that some of the most important factors in determining the outcome of a game are things that cannot be quantified.
Once such element is the clichéd yet most always effective motivational tool of tragedy. Dennis Allen has had troubles getting his team up for the task each week. However this week is much different. Not only is it a shortened week with no time to dwell on the past it’s also a sad week for Coach Allen and his family.
Almost immediately after the loss to Cleveland on Sunday, Allen headed off to Dallas to be with his ailing father. Sadly Allen’s father has since passed and the coach has since returned to his team.
If ever there was a week for the men in the locker room to dig deep and give and inspired effort for their first year head coach it would be now. Oh, yeah, and it will take plenty of inspiration to beat the Broncos.
Recently we’ve seen the Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts rally around tragic situations to find added incentive to play up. Last year the Raiders did just that once Al Davis passed away. This week Raider Nation is hoping to see something to inspire football’s most faithful and suffering fan base.
A win over Denver would be the signature moment of Allen’s young career. It would also help to stop all of the ugly rumoring that began this week. No doubt everything in this franchise is up for review at the moment. A win over Denver might not save Allen’s job but it could go a long way in saving some face this season. More importantly it would pay tribute to Allen’s father in the most appropriate way possible.