Considering the historical bad blood between the Las Vegas Raiders and the NFL, it’s interesting that a new league rule could help them get back to relevance.
The wars waged between legendary owner Al Davis and the NFL are cemented in the heads of Raider Nation. Another thing not lost on fans, and head coach Jon Gruden, is the horrible officiating that the Raiders have been victims of at times. Who could forget the “Tuck Rule game” which is only one incident in a long list of NFL officiating gaffes. However, it will be the new rule which comes as an NFL playoff expansion that could help the Raiders. They’d have some help now in returning to the playoffs, something they haven’t accomplished since 2016.
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By going from a 12-team format to 14, the Raiders have more chances of getting in. It won’t be easier by any stretch and this certainly doesn’t make up for the officiating either. Nevertheless, in a division where the Kansas City Chiefs reign supreme, Gruden and the Raiders will take any help they can get.
0 and 5
The challenge for the Raiders when it comes to the Chiefs is two-fold. First, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has to beat the Chiefs sooner or later. Fact is, and this is whether Carr apologists like it or not, if the man can’t beat Kansas City, he’s not the answer. His underwhelming record as a starter against them, 0 and 5, speaks volumes. By the same token, it goes without saying that facing the “best of the best” in the NFL within their division every year is a good barometer. Even if the Raiders continue this trend in 2020, the playoff expansion can still lend a hand.
By removing your Raiders fandom, you can see the Chiefs have patiently built up a powerhouse with excellent drafting and free agency signings. Under head coach Andy Reid, they took a chance at the quarterback position with Patrick Mahomes and that’s paid dividends. Gruden and Raiders general manager Mike Mayock have been playing catch-up for the past two years with their own plan. While the Silver and Black will have to eventually get past the Chiefs, perhaps in 2020, the team can take another step forward in that direction even if it means squeaking into the playoffs.
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*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Raiders