Every year in sports, there are teams that just seem to be doomed, and then each year they are sitting at home on the couch, when the playoffs are going on. Most recently, in major league baseball, it happened to the Chicago Cubs. They had made the playoffs a few times, but never won a championship. That all changed last fall, as they broke a 100 year curse and were able to win a championship. Now in the NFL, the Oakland Raiders, who have not been to the postseason since 2002, are officially in the playoffs, after beating the San Diego Chargers last Sunday. It was a close game the whole way, but at the end, the Raiders got the win and their fans were ecstatic.
For the first time since 2002, the Raiders will be competing in the playoffs and trying to represent the AFC in this season’s Super Bowl. Last time the Raiders were in the playoffs, they made it to the Super Bowl, but were crushed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the game. That is something that surely has been on the mind of Raider fans everywhere for over a decade. Raiders’ fans can now rejoice and for now be happy that their team has made it to the postseason. The road ahead of them will be tough, but at least they are there right in the thick of things. Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 44-yard field goal with 2:40 left, his fourth of the game, and the Oakland Raiders beat the San Diego Chargers 19-16 in the Relocation Bowl on Sunday, to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2002.
It was not the prettiest win the Raiders have had this season, but they got the win and have accomplished the main goal they set for the season. Even though the game was in San Diego, to everyone that was there and viewers on TV, it looked and sounded like it was a Raider home game. With only one more home game remaining for the Chargers this season, they will not be playing there next year and most likely ever again. The Raiders could also be on the move, with owner Mark Davis eyeing Las Vegas, although they'd still play in Oakland until a new stadium was built in Sin City. Raiders’ fans, in their Silver and Black, outnumbered Chargers fans by roughly 80 percent to 20 percent in the crowd of 68,352, the largest crowd of the year in San Diego.
The Raiders still have one more division game left this year, and even though they have secured a spot in the post season, they will want to end the season on a high note. The Raiders turned the ball over twice in the red zone, but the Chargers were not able to get points out of those turnovers. The Raiders have a young and hungry team and most of them have never experienced the NFL playoffs before. If the Raiders can win their last two games, they will be able to hold on to the number two seed in the playoffs, and get a first round bye and a home game after that, which would be huge for the young team.