The Raiders aren’t yet knocked out. But, they are down and their hopes for getting back up are slim.
After losing to Tennessee Sunday in Oakland, 42-21, the Raiders have lost three consecutive games to fall from 6-4 to 6-7. Three weeks ago, the Raiders were one of the NFL’s surprise stories of 2019, rebounding from a 4-12 finish in 2018 to challenge for a playoff berth.
Now, Jon Gruden’s team will need a miracle to get into the postseason.
Plus, a shoulder injury to standout rookie running back Josh Jacobs, who’s powered the offense all season, forced him to miss Sunday’s game against Tennessee, leaving his status in question for the three games the Raiders have left in the regular season.
Up next for the Raiders is their final game in Oakland (before their move to Las Vegas for next season) against the 4-9 Jacksonville Jaguars. They’ll then finish with two games on the road against the 5-8 Chargers and 5-8 Broncos.
It’s actually not a bad lineup for the Raiders, to get three losing teams to finish the schedule. But even three straight victories – which would put Oakland at 9-7 – may not be enough to earn a playoff spot.
If the playoffs began today, the Raiders would be out of it as the ninth seed in a six-team playoff. Ahead of them are the 9-4 Bills (fifth seed), 8-5 Steelers (sixth seed) and 8-5 Texans (fourth seed), as well as the 8-5 Titans (seventh seed). The Raiders, Browns and Colts all sit at 6-7, hoping for a sweep of their final three games and some disasters for teams above them.
After Sunday’s game, Gruden acknowledged the team is in an extra-difficult position – especially with key players out, including Jacobs.
"It’s not as easy to win when you’re not playing with your frontline guys," Gruden told reporters. "It works out for the development of some young players, but it’s on me. It’s my responsibility to fix it and it certainly doesn’t look good the last few weeks."
Sunday’s game against Jacksonville in Oakland is set for a 1:25 p.m. kickoff.