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The Extra Point: Kenyan Drake Knows Raiders Have to ReFocus to Turn Things Around

Even though Las Vegas is 5-4, its playoff hopes would take a big hit with a third straight loss, against Cincinnati this week.

When the NFL schedule was initially announced, few Las Vegas Raiders fans probably circled the Week 11 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. 

It might end up being the make-or-break game of the season. 

The Raiders are 5-4, but play in a division in which every team is .500 or better. Consequently, according to FiveThirtyEight their playoff odds have fallen to just 28 percent. 

But it could be back up near 50 percent if they can beat the Bengals. 

“As cliche as it sounds, 'Any Given Sunday,' I feel like what I've learned in this league in the six years I've been here, it's a season within a week," running back Kenyan Drake said. "Every week you got to pretty much clean, go to the game with a clean slate. And then also expect the unexpected when you're playing against a new opponent."

No team has been through anything like the Raiders this season, which lost their coach due to a scandal and then had Henry Ruggs III involved in a horrific accident that resulted in the death of a 23-year-old woman.  

With the schedule about to get significantly tougher, Las Vegas can't afford another loss. 

“Obviously it is a little different when you have a kind of familiar opponent, a divisional opponent but playing against a team like the Bengals this week, they got a young quarterback," the former Alabama running back said. "Obviously they're in the same position that we're in, fighting to continue to stay in playoff contention. 

"So we got to continue to go out there and just play our best game, because we know we're going to get their best and we got to make sure we continue to defend home turf."

The AFC playoff picture is the equivalent of a traffic jam, with the Tennessee Titans out in front at 8-2, and the other three divisions led by teams with six wins. 

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However, the Raiders are coming off back-to-back losses, including a 41-14 pasting to AFC West rival Kansas City in primetime. If they can't turn things around this week, it may be time to start thinking about the future. 

Drake says the key is to quickly forget and refocus. 

“It's hard to beat teams where you're beating yourself and that's what I'm focused on this week, is continue to go out there and doing the things that we know we can do, but also, don't kind of shoot ourselves in the foot when we kind of have that momentum because at the end of the day, they get paid to stop us on the other side of the ball,” Drake said.


The Extra Point is a regular feature on BamaCentral, and often includes video and other elements from our FanNation partners. Other recent segments include:

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