Former Raiders Head Coach Predicts Playoffs for Team

jon gruden derek carr

Getty Oakland Raiders' Derek Carr & Jon Gruden.

After reeling off three straight wins, the Oakland Raiders currently hold the last Wild Card playoff spot in the AFC. Not only that, if they pull off a win against the 3-7 New York Jets on Sunday, they’ll be tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC West lead. This will make the Week 13 matchup between the two teams one of the most important games of the season. Even if the Raiders lose to the Chiefs, they’ll still have a really good shot at the playoffs. One person who thinks they’re going to make it is their former head coach Jack Del Rio.

The coach predicts the Raiders to win five or six of their remaining games. 11 wins should at least get them to the wild card. 12 wins will give them the AFC West title.

Once a Raider, Always a Raider

If Jon Gruden never became available, Jack Del Rio would probably still be coaching the Raiders. Despite being fired by the team less than two years ago, Del Rio has remained loyal to the team he grew up rooting for. He’s as staunch a supporter for Derek Carr as anybody.

It’s easy to forget about Del Rio’s success considering how things ended for him in Oakland. He led the team to their first playoff appearance since 2002 and was instrumental in helping turn around one of the most dysfunctional organizations in sports around. If it wasn’t for what Del Rio did, Gruden is probably never convinced to return to the Raiders. It ended in a very ugly way for the USC alum, but he should get a lot of credit for what he did in his first two years with the team.

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Can the Raiders Beat the Chiefs?

Whether the Raiders win or lose on Sunday versus the Jets, they need to beat the Chiefs in Kansas City the following week. Yes, Oakland could easily still get to the playoffs if they take the loss, but the Chiefs are in a very vulnerable place right now. Del Rio recently laid out what the Raiders need to do to beat Kansas City.

Del Rio went 1-5 against Andy Reid’s squad, but he’s right. Derek Carr needs to pick up a win in Arrowhead. The quarterback is 0-5 in that stadium and has consistently played poorly there. It has to be a mental thing at this point as the Chiefs have not been known for their defense in recent years. Fortunately for Carr, he has a weapon he’s never brought to Arrowhead before named Josh Jacobs. Kansas City has the third-worst run defense in the NFL and Jacobs should have a huge game against them.

Jacobs only carried the ball 12 times in the first matchup between the two teams and still accumulated 99 rushing yards. Gruden will remember that fact and won’t make the same mistakes. Jacobs should get the ball early and often. It would be nice to see Carr finally put a good game together in Arrowhead, but the gameplan needs to be focused around the rookie phenom.

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