Raiders last two games a study in extremes; Can they keep the arrow pointing up for the playoff hunt?

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The Las Vegas Raiders went from zero to sixty in four days. 

It was more like zero to sixty three.

On Thursday Night the Raiders beat the Los Angeles Chargers 63-21, just four days after being shut out 3-0 against the Minnesota Vikings this past Sunday. 

The statistics in comparing the two games is remarkable.  

Last Sunday, Las Vegas gained 202 yards on offense with 8 first downs and had 3 turnovers. On Thursday, they gained 378 yards of total offense with 20 first downs and zero turnovers. Vegas’s third down efficiency was remarkably improved between the two games.

On Sunday they were 3 for 14, while on Thursday they were 9 for 16.  

Aidan O’Connell only threw for 170 yards with an interception against the Vikings. For Thursday he threw for 248 yards and 4 touchdowns. 

According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), O’Connell went from a Fantasy grade of 6 on Sunday to 25.9 in the win on Thursday. 

Star receiver Davante Adams had a big night on Thursday as well.

Adams led the Raiders in receiving yards with 101 on 12 targets and eight receptions. He had 53 yards on 7 catches and 10 targets against Minnesota. His Focus grade on Sunday was 12.3 compared to 27.1 on Thursday.

Many in the media were beginning to wonder if O’Connell and interim head coach Antonio Pierce were the future after Sunday. Their Thursday Night performance was a good step toward both of them securing their positions. The next step for Vegas is to beat a playoff contender. 

They play Kansas City, Indianapolis and Denver over the final 3 weeks. 

All 3 are vying for a playoff spot. If Vegas can knock one of them off the Aidan O’Connell/Antonio Pierce tandem may be part of Vegas for the future.

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