Identifying must-win contests for the Raiders during the upcoming season.
Week 15 vs New England
Like the above, this isn’t so much about the Patriots themselves, but the end of the season. The Raiders won their last 4-games to make the postseason in ’21, and if the team wants to replicate that, this is where it starts.
This matchup comes one-week after a Thursday Night contest against the defending Super Bowl champs, Los Angeles Rams. If the Raiders mean business, this duel against the Rams should spark their competitiveness, propelling them to the final-stretch of the ’22 season. This in turn would directly translate to battle against New England.
Against the Patriots, the Silver and Black are at home, and play a second-year quarterback in Mac Jones. Furthermore, this is a New England defense which lost their best player this off-season, who happened to find his way to the AFC West. If there’s an ideal matchup to get the wheels rolling on the final stretch, it’s right here.
Coming out on top here should keep the fire burning into Pittsburgh, where Las Vegas goes head-to-head with either Mitch Trubisky, or rookie Kenny Pickett; A favorable situation, no matter how you slice it. From there, it starts to get difficult, with the last-two contests being in Vegas against the Niners, and at Kansas City to cap off the regular season.
The final pair of games are certainly tough, but both remain winnable, especially if the Silver and Black are feeling good about what they’re doing. More than likely, this final-stretch of the regular season will be determined by what happens against New England, building into Pittsburgh.
The Las Vegas Raiders have the talent to do something special in 2022, and their head coach, Josh McDaniels, could benefit in a big way.
The Raiders have a chance to not only make the post-season, but head into the playoffs red hot. If they want that to be a reality, there’s no choice but to take care of business at home against the Patriots, and let the rest of the dominoes fall where they will. If the team manages to win even three of the four contests in this stretch, consider it a victory; A victory that would almost certainly be sparked by a win against New England.