Of the state’s four NFL teams, only the Raiders will extend their season.
The Chargers, Rams and 49ers will regroup, look for new coaches and try to forget the 2016 season while taking notes on what not to repeat in 2017.
The Raiders ended a 14-year playoff drought this season, and seemed poised to make a deep postseason run. But those hopes were carted away with quarterback Derek Carr and his broken leg in Week 16 against the Colts.
The Raiders AC (after Carr) did not look quite as playoff-ready in their 24-6 loss at Denver. As Carr’s replacement, can Connor Cook rekindle the magic he worked two years ago in Michigan State’s 42-41 Cotton Bowl comeback win over Baylor? Raider nation will find out Saturday.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
So in the final NFL power rankings roundup of the season, the Raiders, with an average ranking of 8.8 in the five polls sampled here (ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, CBS Sports and The Associated Press), easily lead their California counterparts. The Chargers (25.6), Rams (28.6) and 49ers (31.0) follow.
Sorting the data:
Average rank: 8.8
Average change: -2.0
From ESPN (No. 9): “It doesn’t help that the Raiders scored six points in their first full game without QB Derek Carr.”
Average rank: 25.6
Average change: -.2
From USA Today (No. 25): “If they relocate north, Los Angelenos will quickly find Bolts are more worthy of price of admission than their prospective co-tenants.”
Average rank: 28.6
Average change: -1.3
From USA Today (No. 28): “… guessing the fine people of St. Louis got a kick out of watching this dumpster fire …”
Average rank: 31.0
Average change: –
From ESPN (No. 31): “Whoever takes over (as coach) inherits a 49ers team that allowed the most points in franchise history and matched the worst record in franchise history. Good luck!”