At one point during the 2020 season, the Raiders sat at 6-3 and appeared to be a lock to make the playoffs. But after a disappointing, last-second loss to the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football in Week 11, things started to fall apart.
The Raiders would go on to lose five of their next six games and their only win came against the Jets on a last-second touchdown pass to Henry Ruggs. They ended the season at 8-8 and missed the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
However, this team is not that far away from being contenders in the AFC. In fact, quarterback Derek Carr believes they should have been an 11 or 12 win team last year. In a recent interview with Michael Holley and Michael Smith of the Brother from Another show, Carr expressed just how close this team is from making the playoffs:
“We were three or four plays away from having 12 or 11 wins. Like, literally three plays. And it’s like, we’re so close. Especially, we feel so confident on the offensive side with all the weapons that you mentioned and all those kinds of things. Now adding coach Gus Bradley and Yannick and the different guys that we’ve added to our defense, I mean, we’re kind of excited — to say the least. So we’re really looking forward to the season.”
NFL games tend to be a bit random and unpredictable, so Carr isn’t wrong that this team is very close to winning double-digit games. However, the Raiders often play in too many close games and that tends to be the reason why they end up around .500 every year.
If the Raiders can improve on defense this season and avoid some of these necessary close games, they very well could be a double-digit win this season. But will they actually accomplish that goal? That remains to be seen.