After losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 14 of the 2021 NFL season, it looked like the Las Vegas Raiders would be left for dead in the AFC Playoff picture. The 2021 season had been a roller coaster for the Silver and Black, from everything with Henry Ruggs, Damon Arnette, and Jon Gruden, so it would not have surprised anyone if the team finished outside of the playoffs.
However, the 2021 team had other plans, and with games against all AFC opponents to close the season, they went on a run. Wins against the Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos made things interesting down the stretch, but the Raiders would have to beat the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Chargers in back-to-back weeks to close the season, and get some help.
The Raiders were able to do just that, beating the Colts in Week 17, and then the Chargers in an instant classic to end the regular season and punch their ticket to the playoffs for only the second time in 20 years. That Chargers game was the biggest regular season game the Raiders had in over five years, but on Sunday, they play their biggest one since that fateful day in January of 2022.
Raiders to play biggest regular season game since 2021 season
On Sunday, the Raiders take on the Miami Dolphins on the road with a chance to move over .500 on the 2023 season. With the Kansas City Chiefs on deck with a home game in Week 12, this is a golden oppportunity to prove to the rest of the AFC that the team is for real after winning two straight under Antonio Pierce.
The Raiders have had a roller coaster of a season in 2023, firing their head coach, general manager, and offensive coordinator. However, they have banded together under Pierce, and are playing spirited football on both sides of the ball since Mark Davis made the change.
The game against the Dolphins won't be easy, as they are in first place in the AFC East, and a team many expect to make a run in the AFC this season. However, this could be a win that turns around the narrative surrounding the Raiders, and puts them firmly in place to sneak into a Wild Card spot this season.