When previewing teams looking to make that jump from bottom-dweller to playoff contender, the process generally whittles down to identifying one or two key factors that will ultimately decide the immediate fate of said team. For example, the San Francisco 49ers will become a playoff team if they find a solid quarterback to lead their offense.
The New York Jets will become a playoff team if their passing game can evolve just enough to take pressure off their defense. The Buffalo Bills will become a playoff team if their pass-rush blossoms.
But it’s not so simple with the Oakland Raiders. The stunning turmoil of this once-proud franchise leaves any postseason hope trapped behind a litany of complex factors and virtually unconquerable obstacles. It’s been like this since the Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay. That said, it’s summer, which means Raider fans are looking at their team’s raw talent––which is always as good as any in football––and formulating anticipation for a sudden revival.
It’s no use trying to explain to a Raider fan that their joke of a team––which is 24-72 since that Super Bowl loss––is destined for another four-or five-win season. The logic falls on ears that remain deaf until late October, by when all hope is usually lost for the Silver and Black.
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