Derek Carr

Are these Las Vegas Raiders good enough to qualify for the playoffs?

Heading into Week 14, the Las Vegas Raiders hold a 7-5 record. On the bright side, they have a winning record after 13 weeks of football. On the other hand, they’re currently out of the playoff picture, so does it really matter what their record is knowing it isn’t currently good enough to qualify for the postseason?

What’s up with these Raiders?

The 2020 Raiders have surely been fun to watch. Not only have they been entertaining, but they have also displayed their ability to keep up with the best. They took down the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead and were on the brink of sweeping them.

The talent is there, the Raiders have plenty of players that have stood out throughout the season. Tight end Darren Waller just had a historic game against the New York Jets in Week 13. Wide receiver Nelson Agholor has had a career revival with the Silver and Black and quarterback Derek Carr has shown growth.

However, this Las Vegas team is an inconsistent one. As good as they have looked against the Chiefs, other teams have effectively shut them down. The New England Patriots and the Buffalo Bills were the first ones, but the Atlanta Falcons beat them in an embarrassing manner.

When the Raiders drop a game, they don’t do it in a competitive fashion, they get embarrassed, and that doesn’t happen to a playoff team. Sure, every good team is going to have one stinker, or lose a game they should’ve won.  There’s no question Carr has improved, but he struggles too often to be considered one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He has come crashing down against the Patriots, the Falcons, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That’s too many games.

Related: Poll: If Raiders DC Paul Guenther is out, is Gregg Williams in?

Great teams work on getting better

The Fresno State product isn’t the only player that has struggled though. The offensive line has fallen flat at different points of the season, and the pass rush has been non-existent despite the fact the team has allocated plenty of resources to the defense these last two years. Defensive end Clelin Ferell had a lights-out game against the ‘Gang Green’ but it’s difficult to get excited about a player that has a dominant game like that once in a Blue Moon.

It isn’t just the team’s inconsistency. There’s always something, an injury, not following COVID-19 protocols. Every team goes through adversity and less-than-stellar situations, but the best ones rise up to the occasion and overcome them. Those squads despise losing and when things don’t work out, they get back to grinding. They don’t talk about how they’re only focused on winning, and how frustrating things are. Great teams leave the excuses for the bad ones.

In the Raiders’ favor, this isn’t over. They still have a chance to make it to the playoffs even though they’re currently out of the picture. They would likely need to win the four remaining games. It’s a tall task, but it’s feasible. They’ve shown they are talented, they just have to find that consistency they haven’t had throughout the year, but if they can’t find it, they don’t deserve to be in the playoffs.

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Top Photo: Getty Images photo pool

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