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10 things that will make the Raiders a playoff team

Some major homers think it is possible to make the playoffs this season. Some not so crazies think maybe next year. These things can be difficult to project, but I'm going to take a look at ten team needs. Fill these needs and playoffs aren't just a mirage.

1. Give Nnamdi a long term deal.
2. LT
3. RT
4. WR
5. WR
6. FS
7. OLB
8. DT
9. DE
10. LB

1. No brainer

2 & 3. Obviously, one of the glaring weaknesses is the OT spot. Finding replacements via draft and free agency will be important. Perhaps moving Kwame to RT could fill one of the holes. I don't like it, but you aren't going to fill all ten holes with a great or even good player. So finding a better protector for Russell's backside might be the best we can do.

4 & 5. There will be WR available in free agency and adding one in the draft could be a good idea, but not likely to make an immediate impact. We need this position to become a strength before the offense can become a juggernaut.

6. FS is going to be a hard one to fill, but it could be that we just put a stop gap in there for now. That is Nnamdi's side of the field, so it shouldn't be a huge issue. Huff I believe is done after the season and we don't have anyone that is going to step in and solidify that spot. Not sure how we will approach it, but it needs approaching. Trying Huff at CB might be interesting experiment. He always plays better up at the line.

7. Ricky Brown, Sam Williams, Jon Alston. I am not sure how long this trio can hold down the open SLB spot, but maybe we will put a stop gap here once again. A stud tackler would sure help our rush D.

8. Sands, Warren, Kelly provide a decent trio at DT, but there is a huge amount of money invested in all three. My guess is at least one must go this offseason. My money is on Sands. Unless we can restructure them, we are going to need one more. A game changer at this position could really move this defense into the realm of "great."

9. Burgess is probably getting to the age that he will no longer be such a force. We also need to plan on not having him after next season. A developmental draft pick might do the trick here.

10. Again the trio at SLB also provides backup help for Howard and Morrison. We need some depth at the position. LBs also make good special teamers usually and adding good blockers could turn JLH into an elite return artist.

If by some magic, all of these needs can be addressed in season or the lesser talent could elevate their play enough not to make them major weaknesses, then maybe the super crazies might be right. Playoffs this season IS possible. I don't like the chances, but I do believe we need to have some optimism after three straight weeks of good defensive play and finally an offensive outburst. Even making a late run would be cause for celebration, even if it is unlikely.


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