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This week the NFL tabbed the Raiders vs Chargers game for the big finale on Sunday Night Football. Should the Colts beat the Jags or the Steelers beat the Ravens, the winner between the Raiders and Chargers will be in and the loser will be out. That stakes couldn’t be higher.
Then again, you could pretty much say that for any of the Raiders’ final four games of this season.
“That’s kind of been the feeling around our team and around my heart for the last month,” Carr said about the playoff implications this Sunday. “So, this one’s exciting, obviously, because it’s the last one and it really tells you what happens. But at the end of the day I really feel like the last month we’ve been playing in our playoffs. At least that’s what we’ve been talking about. Because if we lost any of these it really wouldn’t have mattered. It’s exciting, it’s against a division team, all of those things, but nothing changes.”
Carr is right. This team has been in a win or go home for the playoffs situation for weeks already.
A few weeks ago, the Raiders were reeling. Their season was tumbling out of control, having lost five of their previous six games. They had already fallen below .500 at 6-7 and were on the outside looking in with regard to playoff hopes. Even talk of playoffs was starting to sound laughable.
And they haven’t lost since. Putting them in control of their own destiny. While they haven’t had any decisive victories, and all of them came down to the wire, they have been winning. And all the teams they have faced (Browns, Broncos, Colts) and will face (Chargers) had .500 or better records.
So, essentially with the Raiders’ season on the line, they’ve beaten playoff contending teams. Sounds like the playoffs to me. They’ll need to do it one more time to make it official.
“I think our team’s in a good place,” Carr said. “With us being in that kind of playoff mindset for a month now, we realize what’s at stake this week. We realize what’s been at stake for the last couple weeks. . . we know what we need to do, we know what’s gotten us to this point, and it’s going to be hard to do.”