Oakland Raider fans saw exactly what they had been clamoring for in Monday night's 17-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs – a Marques Tuiasosopo sighting.
The third-year man from the University of Washington relieved Rich Gannon, who left the game with a shoulder injury, to start the second half. Tuiasosopo's performance was fairly predictable. He did some good things and some not so good things. That's pretty much to be expected from someone who has very seldom played an NFL game, even in mop-up duty.
Tuiasosopo completed 16-of-28 passes for 224 yards with one interception. He also ran for 20 yards on four carries and nearly led the Raiders into overtime before falling short on the last drive.
Many folks have been lobbying for Oakland to give Tuiasosopo a shot as Gannon has gone from reigning NFL MVP to having a quarterback rating that competes with the likes of Cincinnati's Jon Kitna and Jacksonville's Byron Leftwich.
Tuiasosopo has been tabbed the heir apparent for Gannon but the great unknown was how he would play when given the chance in a game that hung in the balance.
"I know that I go out there and work hard each day at practice," Tuiasosopo said. "I just work hard and make sure I'm ready to go. I got my share of reps in training. I've had enough the last few years to where I should feel confident."
The Raiders (2-5) are off this week before returning with a road game at Detroit on Nov. 2. Oakland head coach Bill Callahan said Wednesday that if the Raiders had a game Sunday Gannon would not be able to play.
Callahan said the Raiders will likely decide on Gannon's status Wednesday. Gannon underwent an MRI examination Tuesday but neither he or Callahan gave any details of the results.
If Gannon cannot play, converted wide receiver Ronald Curry would become the No. 3 quarterback.
Playoff chances remote at best
Need further evidence that the Raiders playoff chances are remote? Oakland enters its bye week with a 2-5 record.
The NFL expanded its playoff field from five teams per conference to six in 1990. Since then, there have been 36 teams that won exactly 10 games and 34 reached the postseason with the 1991 Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers being the only ones not to achieve that feat. There have been 49 teams that have won exactly nine games, 28 of which made the postseason. There have been 44 teams that won exactly eight games, only four made it to the playoffs.
In a nutshell, a 10 win season means you are a slamdunk to make the playoffs, a nine win season means your chances are decent but must hope for tiebreakers to fall in your favor, and an eight win season basically assures you will not make it.
Oakland will have to go 8-1 the rest of the way to be virtually assured of a playoff berth but at this point, it has done nothing to lead one to believe it can reach that accomplishment.
Vince D'Adamo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org