The Raiders are coming off a two game winning streak and are right back in the thick of things in the AFC. They will fly to South Beach for their most purposeful regular season matchup of 2023. Winning at Miami will skyrocket expectations with a formidable schedule remaining. Losing will bring up more questions and complaints all over the web.
If Josh McDaniels was still the coach, the Raiders would have lost to the Jets. They probably would have beaten the Giants, but losing that one was not out of the realm of possibility with McDaniels involved. The Patriot way is history and the Raiders are doing it the right way now-The Raider way.
McDaniels did win three games to help put them in the position that they are in today, but he wasn't a Raider lifer. Neither is Antonio Pierce, but he has embraced it and the nation has embraced him. It's his time now to earn the job or not. These next two weeks will tell if Pierce can be the chosen one and fire up the fast track of taking the Raiders to the playoffs.
Will the Raiders sink or swim in Miami?
Aidan O'Connell has done a swell job starting. He hasn't turned the ball over like his predecessor and had a chance to beat Los Angeles last month. Jimmy Garoppolo and Brian Hoyer were embarrassed in their losses. Buffalo dump trucked Vegas and look at them now. Chicago somehow ransacked the Raiders with Tyson Bagent and are vying for the first pick.
Since then the Raiders have gotten a new lease on life and they're at a crossroad. They signed some experienced linebackers to provide depth and inked Jack Jones, who was top 20 in coverage rate last year thanks to pff. The offense is still a letdown, but grinding. The defense will keep them in games and Maxx Crosby is a game wrecker. They will fight for their paychecks in weeks 11 and 12 by going up against two of the most dangerous offenses in the league before they enter their bye week.
They currently fall two spots out of the playoffs, but will jump the line by obviously continuing their winning streak. Before Thursday night's Cincinnati loss their postseason chances were at 15%, that has since changed. The Chargers and Broncos are right on their tails as well, but they can gain the tiebreaker over them and others by winning as much as possible.
Week 11 might as well be the wild card round for the Raiders. It would be like going on the road to win a trip to the divisional round to square off with the champs. This two week journey will prove if the Raiders can contend with the best or if they're just pretending like so many times before.