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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders have high expectations for themselves entering 2021. While they haven't had a winning season or made a playoff appearance since 2016, general manager Mike Mayock said this week that it's time the Raiders get back to the postseason.

"Jon [Gruden] and I will both tell you that we feel like we need to be a playoff team this year, and I don't think there's any doubt about that," Mayock said, via ESPN. "You guys are all going to put that in your headlines, and I understand it, but that's what the expectation is. We think we've done the infrastructure work necessary to put us in position, and we've got to take care of business."

The Raiders finished with an 8-8 record last season in what was yet another campaign full of ups and downs. At one point, the Raiders were 6-3 and looked like a sleeper in the AFC. (They even handed Patrick Mahomes his only loss of the regular season!) Then Vegas flopped at the end of the year, losing five out of their last seven games. First-round pick Henry Ruggs III didn't make an impact, the defense allowed the third-most points in the league and general inconsistencies marred what once appeared to be the beginnings of a successful campaign.

Even if the Raiders found a way to buckle down and avoid out-of-character losses, residing in the AFC West doesn't help. The Kansas City Chiefs have been division champions every year since 2016, the Los Angeles Chargers have found an exciting new franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert and the Denver Broncos have a very talented roster and a new veteran signal-caller in Teddy Bridgewater. The Raiders play the eighth-toughest schedule in 2021 based off of opponents combined 2020 win percentage, but this roster has proven they can beat anyone in any given week. They can also lose to anyone in any given week.

Words are just words at this point, as all 32 NFL teams have playoff hopes and dreams entering the new year. Now, the Raiders just have to go out and meet their goal.

"It's always nice to hear somebody say that," Raiders owner Mark Davis said about Mayock's playoff comments, "but let's go out and do it. I'd be much more impressed if they did it."

Can the Raiders' defense step it up this season? Will Henry Ruggs break out? Get the CBS Sports app and find out, all from our team of veteran insiders. If you have the app, set the Raiders as your favorite team for even faster updates.