The Oakland Raiders are a win away, or any of eight other scenarios, from clinching their first playoff berth since 2002.
They were close in 2011, needing just one win then, too. But it was San Diego that played spoiler, preventing the Raiders from clinching the AFC West title after a 38-26 Chargers victory in the season finale in Oakland.
Denver won the division that season based on records versus common opponents. Derek Carr was just a redshirt sophomore at Fresno State.
But amid talk of ending the postseason drought, the current Raiders quarterback says he is focused solely on the latest edition of the Chargers, who host the 10-3 Raiders on Sunday.
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“It makes these moments so awesome,” Carr said Wednesday. “Makes these moments really cool to already have 10 wins and those things. I know for our team our sole focus is beating the Chargers, because if we don’t then we’re still sitting there hoping and wishing. Our focus is going down to San Diego and just try to come out with a win.”
You don’t have to cram as much, you’ve got more time to get your film in. … Whenever you get extra days off, you know me, I try and spend as much time with my family as possible. I want to make sure they always know that they’re the most important, I don’t want them to think football is way above that.
Carr also is looking for a bounce back game after completing 17 of 41 passes for 117 yards in a 21-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week at Arrowhead Stadium.
It was the third-year pro’s most lackluster game since the 2015 opener, when he was 7-of-12 passing for 61 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Adams hauls in another TD – Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams continued his off-again, on-again pattern of 2016.
A week after being limited to one catch by Houston, the ex-Fresno State star had four catches for 104 yards and a touchdown as the Packers rolled past the Seattle Seahawks 38-10.
Adams’ TD came on a 66-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers in the first quarter.
This season, Adams has 63 receptions for 897 yards and nine touchdowns. In six of his 13 games, he has had three catches or fewer. In the other seven, he has 49 catches for 705 yards.
Golden’s role shift – Former Edison High star Robert Golden has started seven games for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season but lately has entered as a reserve.
A hamstring injury that cost him two games did not help.
Golden finished with two tackles in last week’s 27-20 victory over the Buffalo Bills. He hasn’t started since Nov. 13 against the Dallas Cowboys.
Et cetera – Minnesota Vikings inside linebacker Eric Kendricks (Hoover) led the team with eight tackles in a 25-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also had a tackle for a loss and a pass deflection.
▪ Los Angeles Rams safety T.J. McDonald (Edison) finished with four tackles in a 42-14 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Rams guard Cody Wichmann (Fresno State) came on as a reserve.
▪ New Orleans defensive tackle Tyeler Davison (Fresno State) had four tackles as the Saints fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16-11.
▪ Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews (Fresno State) returned from an ankle injury and had 15 carries for 60 yards in a 27-22 loss to the Washington Redskins. Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks (Hoover) didn’t record a tackle.
▪ San Diego Chargers returner Isaiah Burse (Fresno State) had two punt returns for 9 yards in a 28-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers. He also had a fair catch. Burse had a kickoff return for 16 yards. Chargers offensive tackle Kenny Wiggins (Fresno State) came in as a reserve.
▪ Denver Broncos tight end Virgil Green (Tulare) was targeted twice but didn’t have a reception in a 13-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans.
▪ Indianapolis linebacker Chris Carter (Fresno State) didn’t record a tackle as the Colts fell to the Houston Texans 22-17.
▪ New York Jets defensive lineman/linebacker Sheldon Richardson (College of the Sequoias) totaled two tackles including one for a loss as the Jets rallied for a 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
▪ Cornerback Steven Nelson (Sequoias) had a tackle for a loss and three pass deflections for the Chiefs against the Raiders.
Raiders postseason scenarios
Oakland clinches a playoff berth with:
- 1) OAK win
- 2) OAK tie + MIA loss
- 3) OAK tie + DEN loss
- 4) OAK tie + MIA tie + DEN tie
- 5) OAK tie + MIA tie + KC win
- 6) MIA loss + PIT loss or tie + DEN loss
- 7) MIA loss + PIT loss or tie + KC win or tie
- 8) MIA loss + BAL loss or tie + DEN loss
- 9) MIA loss + BAL loss or tie + KC win or tie