Injuries to key players down the stretch of the season
During the course of an NFL season, every team is going to go through periods where they are missing key guys due to injury. That rang true for the Raiders in 2023, but at the worst possible time, as star running back Josh Jacobs missed the final four games of the season due to a quad injury.
Zamir White filled in admirably for Jacobs, rushing for over 100 yards in two of his four starts, but the lack of Jacobs put a lot of pressure on rookie quarterback Aidan O'Connell. There was also a big injury to star left tackle Kolton Miller down the stretch as well, as he never seemed to get right from his shoulder injury.
Earlier in the season, star edge rusher Maxx Crosby had to deal with a devastating knee injury, one that really limited him in the first matchup against Kansas City. With Crosby unable to be at 100 percent for that game, Patrick Mahomes was able to get comfortable in the pocket, as the Chiefs erased an early Raiders lead en-route to a 31-17 victory inside Allegiant Stadium.
It is almost impossible for a team to be healthy going into the final quarter of the season, but the Raiders were eventually done in by key players missing key games down the stretch.