FanSided’s podcast, Stacking the Box, had a conversation about the Oakland Raiders about their playoff aspirations and what their thoughts were on the Raiders making a run for a Lombardi Trophy this season.
Mark Carman, Josh Hill, and Matt Verderame all sat down and discussed the Oakland Raiders playoff potential in the most recent episode of Stacking the Box. The group discussed the possibility of the Raiders getting into the playoffs this year.
The conversation starts at about the 45:30 mark and the question is “are the Raiders a playoff team?” Both hosts were quick to answer no for various reasons.
The biggest reason mentioned was Derek Carr’s play ability and his lack of taking shots down the field. One host stated Carr didn’t complete a pass over five yards in the Bears game and made the point you can’t win against Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers twice, and the multitude of other quarterbacks they play against after the bye-week.
While the Raiders team isn’t the best it’s been in a while, at least from a roster standpoint, one can argue it’s got some of the best talent.
Currently, Kolton Miller and Trent Brown are playing at an elite level. Both tackles went up against Von Miller and Khalil Mack without allowing a single pressure or sack. Richie Ingocnito is playing at an above-average level too.
He’s opening up holes for Josh Jacobs, an early Rookie of the Year candidate, to get 470 yards in his frist five NFL starts. The offensive line also leapfrogged Jacobs into the No. 2 place of running backs this year according to Pro Football Focus, trailing only Christian McCaffrey. Carr is taking care of the ball, and the running game is producing yardage, which are two things you need to win late in the season.
Another thing they discussed was the Antonio Brown situation and now the Vontaze Burfict’s season-long suspension being upheld by the league and NFLPA, along with the secondary struggling, the defense will have a hard time stopping foes.
Raider Nation is hopeful this team can get into the postseason and I think they can. The offensive line is playing at an elite level, Josh Jacobs is playing at an MVP level, and the defensive line is controlling gaps in the running game to force the other team’s quarterbacks to beat them.
However, I do agree with them on the defensive struggles in the secondary and the lack of being able to stop the pass and lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. One thing that’s to note is the team is 3-0 when Josh Jacobs gets more than 17 carries and 0-2 when he gets less than 17.
The key to this team’s success is Josh Jacobs and getting him involved in the running game early, and often. The sky is the lime for this team as long as they stick to what they’re good at: running the ball and playing disciplined defense.