The Raiders have regressed to the mean, but they just proved there’s some nastiness left in the tank.
If you’re reading this column still, you’re inching closer to the championship. Whether you won the first round of your playoffs in Week 14, are in the second week of a two-week semifinal or if you earned a first round bye, you’ve made it this far and deserve praise for as much. The reality for most people that have made it this far is that you’re not going to rock the boat with your lineup all that much — trust your studs, play them each week.
Week 14 brought the all-too-uncommon reality of football in the form of a season-ending injury to MVP-frontrunner Carson Wentz, who suffered the left knee injury in a thrilling win over the Los Angeles Rams. Philadelphia’s quarterback may have been the primary reason your squad has made it this far — he’s been just that good.
They’ll need all of it the rest of the way to save an empty season, but between Del Rio, Carr, Lynch and Mack, they have the leaders to get it done.
The Colts can’t stop the run. The Bills can’t stop the run. One team has LeSean McCoy, and the other has venerable Frank Gore. Should Tyrod Taylor miss the game for Buffalo, it won’t be easy with Nathan Peterman. But expect the hosts to keep it simple and feed McCoy often to keep their front from being exposed by Gore, Marlon Mack and some Jacoby Brissett. A lot of running, a lot of field goals, a little Bills victory.
The Raiders’ offense now has Marshawn Lynch going, and they should get back both Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, who burned the Chiefs in the first meeting. But the Chiefs, despite their loss at the Jets, also revived their passing game with Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.
Even amid a season in which the Giants have fallen from presumed Super Bowl contenders to challengers for the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, McAdoo was blasted, here and elsewhere, for his handling of Manning. (And no, Giants co-owner John Mara doesn’t get a pass from SN.)