There are times when the phrase “must-win game” gets thrown out in situations that aren’t really that dire,
This weekend’s game between the Raiders and the Jaguars is not one of those times. Only seven of the last 156 teams to start a season 1-4 have gone on to make the playoffs and dropping four games under .500 will make it incredibly hard to become the eighth team to pull off that trick. So Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer was exactly right on Wednesday when he addressed the urgency of the situation.
“It’s a must-win for us,” Palmer said, via InsideBayArea.com. “It’s an AFC game and an opportunity to start climbing our way back into the race.”
A win would leave the Raiders with at least a plausible argument that they could climb back into the playoff race. At 2-4, they would be a game back of the Broncos and Chargers in the AFC West and they played as well as they have this season in their 27-24 loss to the Falcons last week. It would still be a long shot on the probability scale, but they have the Chiefs and Buccaneers after the Jaguars so they could find themselves in a different situation come the middle of the season with a few wins right now.
That won’t be the case if they don’t beat the Jaguars this Sunday, though.