Going back to the playoffs for the first time since 2002 is great, but winning the division would be even better.
That's the scenario the Oakland Raiders find themselves in heading into today's game against the 7-7 Indianapolis Colts at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
The Silver and Black need a win to inch closer to an AFC West title, and the Colts desperately need a win to keep their fleeting playoff hopes alive.
The Silver and Black made news Friday afternoon, activating defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. from the Reserve/Injured – Designated For Return List, placing rookie linebacker Shilique Calhoun on the Reserve/Injured List in a corresponding move.
Edwards hasn't played in a game since the Raiders preseason debut in Arizona, and it'll be interesting to see if he indeed makes his 2016 debut today against the Colts.
While Cahoun obviously won't be playing in today's game against the Colts, neither will safety Karl Joseph or defensive tackle Stacy McGee who were also ruled "out" Friday.
The inactive players for today's game are the following:
Quarterback Connor Cook
Cornerback Antonio Hamilton
Safety Karl Joseph
Tackle Austin Howard
Guard Denver Kirkland
Defensive Tackle Stacy McGee
Defensive Lineman Branden Jackson
The captains for today's game are safety Reggie Nelson, defensive back Keith McGill II, center Rodney Hudson, quarterback Derek Carr, defense end Khalil Mack, and linebacker Bruce Irvin.
The Raiders won the toss, but per usual, they elected to defer to the second half.
The Colts and Raiders exchanged punts to open the game, and then on the Colts second offensive possession Andrew Luck and Co. were able to move the ball into Raiders territory.
However, the Colts attempted to execute a fake on a 48-yard field goal attempt that the Raiders were able to stop, resulting in the Silver and Black taking over possession at their own 30-yard line.
That being said, the Raiders couldn't take advantage of the gift, and have now punted the ball back to the Colts with 8:03 left in the opening frame.
The Raiders have gotten the ball back after Andrew Luck – who was pressured up the middle by Khalil Mack and Dan Williams – threw an interception to Nate Allen.
The Raiders have driven the ball deep into Colts territory – in fact they're at the two-yard line – and will face a 2nd and goal when play resumes in the second quarter.
But for the time being, as the first quarter has come to a close, we're still tied at 0-0.
The Raiders didn't waste any time in the second quarter, as Carr has just connected with Andre Holmes on a one-yard touchdown pass.
Sebastian Janikowski converted the PAT, so with 14:57 left in the first half, the Raiders now lead 7-0.
The Colts have struck back though, as Luck just orchestrated a seven play, 75-yard drive that was punctuated by a 24-yard touchdown pass to Dante Moncrief.
The PAT was good, so with 9:49 left in the second quarter, we're all tied up at 7-7.
Well, that was a short-lived tie.
On the shoulders of rookie running back Jalen Richard, who now has 45 yards on the ground, the Raiders have gone back ahead of the Colts.
Carr fed Richard for most of the drive, but Clive Walford's five-yard touchdown has put the Raiders back on top.
Janikowski missed the PAT, so with just under 6:00 left in the second quarter, the Silver and Black now lead 13-7.
Janikowski missed the PAT, so with just under 6:00 left in the second quarter, the Raiders now lead 13-7.
We've come to the two-minute warning, and when play resumes, the Colts will be facing a 2nd and 4 from the Raiders 41-yard line.
Andrew Luck just threw his second interception of the half, as he has just been picked off in the end zone by Reggie Nelson with 1:13 left in the second quarter.
Derek Carr made sure the Raiders came away with some points, as he just orchestrated a six-play, 80-yard drive that was finished off by a four-yard touchdown reception by Richard.
Janikowski couldn't connect on the PAT, so with 0:22 left in the half, the Raiders lead 19-7.
Luck took a knee when the Colts got the ball back, so we've now come to halftime at the OACC with the Raiders still up 19-7.
The Silver and Black will receive the ball to open the second half.
The Raiders have come hot out of the locker room, as Carr and the offense just put together a seven-play, 77-yard drive that was finished off by a 22-yard touchdown run by DeAndré Washington, the first of his career.
Janikowski connected on the PAT, so with 10:48, the Raiders have extended their lead to 26-7.
And just like that the Raider have the ball back, as TJ Carrie has just recovered a fumble forced by Malcolm Smith.
Oh man, DeAndré Washington has done it again.
The rookie just recorded his second, 22-yard touchdown run of the afternoon, and with the converted PAT, the Silver and Black have ballooned their lead to 33-7.
The Colts have pulled just a tad closer to the Raiders, as Luck just threw a three-yard touchdown to Robert Turbin to bring the score to 33-14 with 5:18 left in the third quarter.
The third quarter has come to a close, with the Raiders still leading 33-14.
When play resumes, the Silver and Black will face a 1st and 25 from the Colts 38-yard line.
The tune of today's game has changed in an instant.
With 11:02 left in the fourth quarter, Derek Carr was sacked, and unable to walk off under his own power, No. 4 was helped off the field by his trainers and teammates.
Matt McGloin is now in at quarterback.
The Colts have made this interesting.
Andrew Luck just scrambled for an 11-yard touchdown run, and after a successful two-point conversion, the Raiders now lead 33-22 with 7:40 left in the fourth quarter.
Adam Vinatieri has just connected on a 42-yard field goal to bring the score to 33-25 in favor of the Raiders with 2:33 left in the fourth quarter.
We've reached the two-minute warning, with the Raiders still leading 33-25.
When play resumes, the Raiders will face a 1st and 10 at their own 46-yard line.
The Raiders ran the clock out and have won the game 33-25.