The Oakland Raiders are unique in their ability to lose, even when they win. The Raiders won their fourth game of the season on Sunday when they shut out the Kansas City Chiefs 15-0 at the Oakland Coliseum. But in winning that game, the Raiders lost their chance of being awarded the number one draft pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, something that is much more important to the franchise in the long run. There is nothing left to gain in winning games at this point in the season and for that reason, the Raiders need to change their priorities.
Beating the Chiefs did the Raiders franchise no good. The Raiders shut out the Chiefs for the second time ever? Who cares, it was clearly not due to the Raiders boasting a dominant defense. The players will feel better about themselves? So what. Most of these guys won't even be with the team next season. Dennis Allen gets some job security? He might not even deserve it. Had the Raiders gotten their priorities straight, they could have gained more from losing the game.
As has already been pointed out, the season is a wash. It's over, the only difference wins make now is in draft order. Knowing this, the Raiders had a big opportunity against the Chiefs. Kansas City is without a doubt the worst team in the NFL this season. What better time than at home against a team like the Chiefs to see what you have in youth on your bench? The Raiders have investments in the form of draft picks sitting on their bench while the Raiders brass has no clue what they can really do in an NFL game.
Terrelle Pryor, Taiwan Jones, Tony Bergstrom, and David Ausberry are all unproven Raiders draft picks with a ton of talent and potential, but who have barely seen the field this year. There has been a lot of talk about how these guys are not ready to play a big role on the team yet, but that logic simply doesn't float anymore. Worst case scenario, they prove the coaches right and the Raiders can move on knowing they need to keep building at those positions. Best case scenario, the Raiders find a new star who may not practice well, but has the it factor when they get in the game. And even if the Raiders do not find a star, at the least, they showcase their youthful bench so that they might be able to land some draft picks in trades during the off season.
And besides all of that, there is probably a good chance the Raiders would have won even without their starters. But what is important is that the Raiders gained nothing in the way they approached the Kansas City game last Sunday, and missed an opportunity to build on their future in the process.