It may be a bit overdue but many in the media are starting to change their tune on the Las Vegas Raiders. Their 4-3 record isn’t overly impressive but they’ve done it by playing one of the hardest schedules in the NFL to start the season. They’ve proven that they are capable of shocking teams.
Fox Sports radio host Colin Cowherd was one of the Raiders’ biggest detractors and projected them to be the worst team in the AFC West at 5-11 prior to the season start. They’ve already almost eclipsed that win total before the season’s halfway point. While he got this way wrong, Cowherd admitted that he whiffed on the Raiders. He even went so far as to make a shocking claim.
“I think the Raiders are the one team in the league that they’re good enough to make the playoffs,” Cowherd said on a recent episode of The Herd. “They are not good enough to win a bunch of games in the playoffs but they could also beat everybody … they are the only team in the NFL today that could beat anybody on any Sunday.”
To say that the Raiders are the only team in the NFL that could beat anybody is quite a statement. However, it’s true. They’ve already beaten the Chiefs, Saints and Browns, which are all expected to be playoff teams this year. It may sound crazy but the Raiders might just be the biggest wild card in the NFL.
ALL the latest Las Vegas Raiders news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Cowherd Gives Raiders High Power Ranking
Cowherd wasn’t even done with the Raiders love. On his weekly “Herd Hierarchy,” the host pegged Las Vegas as the sixth-best team in the NFL.
That is a huge jump for a team that many didn’t think would even be in playoff contention. Cowherd even ranked the Raiders ahead of the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers.
Raiders a Playoff Team?
While Cowherd isn’t all-knowing, it’s certainly notable how high he is on the Raiders. He was probably one of the most critical analysts in the country when it came to Las Vegas. The fact that he’s done a 180 just shows how good they’ve been this year.
The Raiders have now powered through the hardest stretch in their schedule and things get a lot easier from here. However, when your team has only been to the playoffs once since 2002, it’s not time to start getting comfortable. The Raiders will likely need to at least get to nine wins to make the playoffs. That means they need five more wins. Out of the nine games left, only three of them come against teams with winning records. Even if the Raiders lose all three of those games but win the games against the losing teams, they get to 10-6.
The team hasn’t been overly consistent this year but they’ve shown a lot of flashes of excellence. Should they not implode, there’s no reason the Raiders shouldn’t be in the playoffs at the end of the year.