Are the Raiders a playoff team?


After a surprisingly hot start at 3-2, are the Oakland Raiders a playoff team in the AFC this year? Is the success under head coach Jon Gruden sustainable?

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At 3-2, the Oakland Raiders would be one of two Wild Card teams in the AFC Playoffs if the season ended today. They dominated the Chicago Bears in the first half of their game in London last week but needed to hold on to get the victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium over the Monsters of the Midway in Week 5. Will this on-field success by sustainable for the Raiders?

On this week’s episode of Stacking the Box, FanSided‘s Matt Verderame, Josh Hill and Mark Carman look at the Raiders’ surprisingly hot start and decide if the Silver and Black are worthy enough of getting back into the AFC Playoffs this January (45:35).

“I’m out because…whenever they play a really good quarterback, they’re gonna lose the game,” said Verderame. “Derek Carr completed three passes over five yards in that game against the Bears. You’re just not beating anybody who’s got any kind of quarterback. If Carr has to actually drop back and throw the ball, they can’t win.”

Verderame would go on to cite a tough schedule coming up as a big reason this team may only end up winning eight games or so this year. But he does give the team a ton of credit, as he believes the Raiders are certainly better than they were a year ago.

Hill would echo Verderame’s sentiment in that the Raiders are probably not a playoff team this year, but are at the very least interesting. He would say that they are cultivating an identity of being a villain from yesteryear under head coach Jon Gruden. This team has a throwback feel to it, but more importantly, it gives fans something to be excited about when they move to Las Vegas.

Gruden and the Raiders should be thrilled about beating two pretty good teams in the Bears and the Indianapolis Colts before that in consecutive weeks. However, the two starting quarterbacks they went up against were Jacoby Brissett and Chase Daniel, not exactly perennial Pro Bowlers here. Oakland will be on its bye this week but needs to get ready for the Green Bay Packers.

Here are a few other topics that were discussed on this week’s episode of Stacking the Box:

  • The Cleveland Browns continue to be a disaster (1:23).
  • Give the Colts credit for beating the Kansas City Chiefs (7:35).
  • Will Dan Quinn be the next head coach fired (52:00)?
  • Adam Gase might be fired before the season is over (53:10).

All this and more!

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Subscribe to Stacking The Box and follow Matt VerderameJosh Hill and Mark Carman on Twitter.