Will the Raiders repeat last year's finish?

Will the Raiders repeat last year's finish?

No one gave the Oakland Raiders a chance when they entered Raymond James Stadium for the final game of the regular season. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers would win going away, clinching a playoff spot in the process.

In the end, it was the Raiders who walked off the field with an improbable victory and the gratitude of the Philadelphia Eagles. Tampa was left out of the playoffs and headed into a postseason that would see the firings of Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen.

One year later, the Raiders find themselves in a similiar position. The Baltimore Ravens head into the Oakland Coliseum as double digit road favorites with a chance to wrap up an AFC Wild Card with a win. If they lose, they are out.

Can the Raiders do it again?

Logically, it's a stretch to pick the Raiders to win, unless you're in Vegas playing the spread. The quarterback position is more unstable than ever, the offense continues to have red zone issues and the defense is still prone to giving up big plays on the ground. That's not a good combination heading into a game against a team that includes Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

The Raiders have made a habit of standing logic on it's head this season though. They have won games against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnatti and Denver that most people felt they had no possible chance to win. They even managed to beat the Steelers and Broncos on the road with three different quarterbacks.

That's why a Raider win this week would be a surprise, but not a shock. They seem to save their best games for contenders, something that the Ravens had better keep in mind if they don't want to suffer the same fate as the '08 Buccaneers.

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