The Oakland Raiders really hurt their playoff chances by losing their last outing, and will have a tough test ahead at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas Eve. For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.
The Oakland Raiders are in a bad position, as far as their hopes for a shot at the 2012 NFL Playoffs are concerned. As opposed to looking for the playoffs, they're also simply looking to secure a winning record, sitting at 7-7 with two games to go. The playoffs are definitely still possible and the team will be expected to fight hard for them, but Oakland needs a couple things to happen. That is to say, it's not completely in their hands, but there are multiple scenarios, in which they could emerge with a wild card berth or even an AFC West division championship.
That being said, Oakland really hurt themselves this past week against the Detroit Lions, allowing Matthew Stafford to lead his team on a late game comeback, shredding the Oakland defense to mount a comeback of more than ten points and take the one-point victory in the final seconds. Detroit is a tough team who will likely secure a wild card berth in the playoffs, so there's not a lot of shame in losing to them, but losing in the way that they did had to hurt.
On Saturday, the Raiders will hit the road to head to Arrowhead Stadium before heading home for the season's final game - both of which the Raiders need to win to make the playoffs. They'll take on the Kansas City Chiefs, a proposition that sounded a lot less tougher a week ago than it does today. That's because the Chiefs, after firing head coach Todd Haley, took the field on Sunday and bested the Green Bay Packers, handing them their first defeat of the season.
Those same Packers beat the Raiders pretty badly just a couple weeks ago, by a score of 46-16. That should give the Chiefs a lot of confidence, especially at home at Arrowhead, a notoriously tough stadium to play in. The Chiefs are not exactly the model of consistency though, with a 6-8 record and the aforementioned firing of their head coach. This could all mean some kind of resurgence, especially with quarterback Kyle Orton under center.
Orton should be the whole focus for the Raiders. He just threw for 299 yards against the Packers and with Stafford having exploited the Oakland defense last week, Orton is eyeing another big game to potentially secure his place as the starter heading into next season. The Raiders will need to step up and beat the Chiefs and hope for a little help to make their way into the playoffs, and they'll do it without some of their injured players, who are resting up, but are nonetheless just as hopeful for a playoff berth as the rest of the team.