It's do or die time for the Oakland Raiders, and they'll take center stage this weekend on Sunday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Silver and Black had a disappointing game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 14, but they'll need to rebound this weekend if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. The team struggled to get much of anything going through the air, but running back Marshawn Lynch had an efficient day at the office, as he totaled 61 rushing yards on a mere seven attempts.
The Chiefs defense was without All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters, and yet it took three quarters for the Raiders offense to get on the board. Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio openly voiced not only his frustration, but the rest of the team's frustration during his press conference Monday, but all the team can do now is prepare for this week's showdown.
The Cowboys offense is currently averaging the 10th most points per game at 24.3, while the Raiders are averaging 20.3. Without stud, second-year running back Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield, veteran running back Alfred Morris has been asked to step in. In 97 attempts, Morris has rushed for 485 yards, and one touchdown. For the Raiders, Lynch has gone into "Beast Mode" in the second half of the season, and has pieced together a solid campaign thus far. No. 24 has toted the pigskin for 619 yards, seven touchdowns, and his current 2.4 yards after contact would be the second-best of his career if the season were to end today. There isn't a whole lot defenders can do if they get in his way.
If Raiders quarterback Derek Carr wants to make an impact through the air, the team's offensive line will need to stop Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence. On the year, Lawrence has totaled 13.5 sacks, and 54 tackles, serving as a dominant force on the Cowboys' defensive line.
When the two teams collide on the gridiron Sunday, it'll be interesting to see who can make a greater impact through the air, and on the ground.
Which Raiders will deliver Air & Ground worthy performances this season? Check nfl.com/fedex to find out, and vote for the weekly FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week all season long.