Raiders playoff hopes: half empty or half full?

Win over suddenly-hapless Denver keeps Oakland alive in a muddled AFC West mix

Dan Dibley
November 27, 2017 - 10:51 am

Depending on whether you’re a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty person, the Oakland Raiders (5-6) win over Denver can been seen one of two ways.

Half Full guy says, “They overcame untimely ejections of Michael Crabtree and Gabe Jackson and the concussion of Amari Cooper to win a gut-check game over a physical Broncos team.”

Half Empty guy says, “They got lucky against a terrible team that is quarterbacked by a bust of a first-round pick and was without their top cornerback after he (Aqib Talib) got thrown out of the game. The Raiders are a fraud and are going nowhere.”

Losing Crabtree and Jackson for the majority of the game is less than ideal but Half Full says the remaining Raiders showed grit in the face of adversity, particularly after Cooper was (literally) knocked out of the game.

Half Empty retorts that had the Broncos decided to start Trevor Siemian at quarterback — instead of teary-eyed neophyte Paxton Lynch — it would have been a much different ballgame. The Raiders defense allowed two late touchdown drives to Simien and company, turning a laughter into a nail-biter.

Half Full sees the win as a springboard to get over the Giants (2-9) this Sunday en route to a late-season rejuvenation. Half Empty expects an offensive regression, especially if Crabtree and/or Jackson is suspended for their transgressions — or Cooper is sidelined.

Conversely, Half Full sees progression in the Raiders’ defense, with new coordinator John Pagano free to “let it rip” on that side of the ball. Half Empty recalls how easy it was for the Patriots to gash the struggling secondary, regardless of who is coordinating.

No matter which person you are, one fact is immutable: The Raiders are just one game out of first-place in the AFC West and they control their own destiny. ​

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