Over the last few years, the Raiders have ended the season with an outside shot at getting into the playoffs.
Despite everything the team has been through in 2021, that is once again the case after the club’s walk-off victory over the Browns on Monday.
The Raiders are currently the AFC’s No. 10 seed at 7-7 and will face the No. 13, 7-7 Broncos on Sunday. Quarterback Derek Carr said in his Wednesday press conference that he thinks the victory over Cleveland helped Las Vegas’ confidence heading into the last three games.
“Not saying that we were lacking any, but you got to win games,” Carr said. “You put so much work in and it’s one of those moments where it’s like, ‘Here we go.’ There’s a lot on the line those last three minutes and for our defense to get that stop and for our offense to be able to go down there and Daniel [Carlson] to be able to make that kick, it says a lot about our team and the will and desire to win. Again, like I said, it doesn’t have to be pretty. The only thing that matters is that we won.
“When we did that, I wouldn’t say it was a sense of relief, but it was a sense of like, ‘Okay, let’s go now.’ That’s what we’ve been expecting, that’s what we should do. Hopefully, that jump starts us, and this is the time to get hot. Hopefully, it will be our time this year.”
Since starting 5-2, Las Vegas has gone 2-5 over the last seven games. Given that the Raiders’ past two seasons have featured a similar start and collapse, Carr has talked about the importance of finishing several times. He was asked about it again on Wednesday, and noted that Las Vegas has a chance to prove some things with meaningful games in December.
“That’s why you put all the time in and the times when we are away from our families and things like that,” Carr said. “This is why you do that, to be able to have a chance to get in and all those kinds of things, but none of that matters unless we beat the Broncos. So, again, it’s a great opportunity for our team, for our organization among everything that’s happened that we are still in it.”