The Las Vegas Raiders are on the verge of making the playoffs for the first time since 2016. However, one hurdle stands between them and their goal – the Los Angeles Chargers. A winner-take-all primetime matchup bodes well for the Silver and Black for numerous reasons.
1. The Las Vegas Raiders have defied the odds this season.
The Raiders started the 2021 season with a blistering 5-2 record. In their wake, they defeated preseason playoff hopefuls in the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, and the Pittsburgh Steelers within the first three weeks. Then, however, a Week 5 loss to the Chicago Bears drastically changed their season.
The team also had to reconcile with a fatal tragic off-field incident with former first-round pick Henry Ruggs III. Yet, despite all these events, the team has won its last three games, and interim head coach Rich Bisaccia can potentially secure a full-time head coaching role with a victory in the finale versus the Chargers.
2. The energy in Allegiant Stadium will be next-level.
While Las Vegas, Nevada, is most certainly not the same atmosphere as Oakland, California, the engineers of Allegiant Stadium did a fantastic job. With a playoff berth on the line, trust and believe that Raider Nation will be representing. In addition, the passing of the legendary John Madden will affect the contest as well. Before kickoff, the Madden family will light the Al Davis torch. It is the Raiders’ first home contest since his passing, and they will do all they can to honor his legacy.
3. The Raiders have unfinished business to take care of against the Chargers.
The Chargers had the upper hand in the first matchup between these two teams. The Bolts utilized their ground attack as Austin Ekeler rushed for 117 yards scored two touchdowns as a receiver and rusher. Justin Herbert attacked the Silver and Black down the seams by turning Jared Cook against his former squad. A 28-14 defeat should sting in the team’s mouth. However, with the playoffs on the line, the magnitude will energize Derek Carr and company for many reasons:
- John Madden
Last but most certainly not least, a playoff appearance.
*Top photo: Derek Carr – by Getty Images