Robert Griffin

Why Ravens sitting key players vs. Steelers is bad news for Raiders

Why Ravens sitting key players vs. Steelers is bad news for Raiders

Somehow, someway the Raiders still are in the AFC playoff picture. But they're going to need help, lots of it.

The Silver and Black already took a hit in the help department. 

With the AFC North and No. 1 seed already locked up, the Baltimore Ravens will be sitting multiple key players Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coach John Harbaugh announced quarterback Lamar Jackson, running back Mark Ingram, guard Marshal Yanda, defensive tackle Brandon Williams and safety Earl Thomas all will sit out Week 17. 

That's bad news for Jon Gruden and the Raiders. 

While the Raiders first will need to take care of their business and beat the Denver Broncos on Sunday, they also need the following to happen: 

-- The Ravens to beat the Steelers

-- The Houston Texans to beat the Tennessee Titans

-- The Indianapolis Colts to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars

-- The Cleveland Browns to beat the Cincinnati Bengals

Insert Lloyd Christmas GIF. 

The Raiders' playoff hopes now rest on the shoulders of RG3 and possibly even rookie QB Trace McSorley. 

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Derek Carr and Co. can only focus on themselves. Raiders fans will be scoreboard watching, but the Silver and Black simply must beat the Broncos first. 

After that, it's up to the Football Gods and whatever lucky charms fans can find in Oakland. 

Robert Griffin III sought out Kyle Shanahan after Ravens beat 49ers

Robert Griffin III sought out Kyle Shanahan after Ravens beat 49ers

Years before Lamar Jackson took the NFL by storm with his ability as a dual-threat quarterback, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was drawing up schemes for Robert Griffin III to show off his arm and legs in Washington. 

Shanahan, Washington's offensive coordinator under his father Mike when Washington traded up to select Griffin with the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, created a read-option offense set for the 2011 Heisman trophy winner's skills. And it worked to near perfection for a short time. 

Griffin, 29, was named 2012 AP Rookie of the Year when he threw for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions while also adding 815 rushing yards and seven more touchdowns. But a knee injury in the playoffs put a damper on his potential, and Shanahan was fired after the 2013 season. 

On Sunday, the two were reunited. RG3 now is Jackson's backup in Baltimore, and the former Pro Bowler made sure to show respect to his former offensive coordinator after the Ravens beat Shanahan's 49ers, 20-17, on a last-second field goal.

Shanahan clearly seemed a bit caught off guard, but Griffin made sure to make it known that it's all love between the two. 

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Since 2013, Griffin has appeared in only 21 games -- starting just 12 -- and didn't play in 2015 or 2017. He has appeared in four games this season for the 10-2 Ravens, and has thrown one touchdown and one interception. He also has 14 yards rushing on eight carries. 

Griffin likely never will be the star he was with Shanahan in Washington again, but the two forever will be connected for those two wild seasons in Washington.