Missed opportunities on the schedule
The Raiders had a pretty tough slate to navigate this season, opening their 2023 schedule against Denver, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh. They also had games against the Detroit Lions, two vs the Kansas City Chiefs, as well as the Miami Dolphins.
Still, there were pockets in the schedule where the Raiders really could have rode the momentum and built up a record that would have put them in position to clinch a playoff spot. The Steelers game early on in the season was a big missed opportunity, and losing to Chicago on the road was a downight debacle.
There was also a two-game stretch right before the bye week where the Raiders could have won at least one game and kept their playoff hopes alive. They played the Dolphins tough to the end, and got out to a 14-0 lead on Kansas City before the bye, only to lose both and fall to 5-7 after crawling their way back to .500.
However, the biggest miss was the Minnesota game, coming out of the bye week and playing the Vikings at home. The Raiders defense played well enough to have the Vikings bench their starter, Joshua Dobbs, but in the end, the offense was atrocious, getting shutout in a 3-0 loss in front of the home fans.
Finally, in Week 17, the Raiders had a chance to keep their slim playoff hopes alive against Indianapolis, but once again, inconsistent play on offense did them in. Had a few of those games went the other way, Las Vegas would have been in much better position to clinch a Wild Card spot, or even the AFC West title down the stretch.