Before November turned to December, the Raiders were reveling in controlling their own destiny and perhaps silently pondering the possibility of wrapping up a playoff berth by Christmas Eve.
Three losses later comes a potentially ugly reality.
If the Raiders lose to the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium, and that result is coupled with a win by either the New York Jets or Cincinnati Bengals, it's over.
No AFC West title, no chance at a wild card, and it would all be wrapped up by the afternoon slate of games.
Oakland would be 7-8 with the Chargers remaining and exactly where it was a year ago, hoping for a win in the final game of the season to finish at .500.
If you're of a mind that a 28-27 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday was a prelude to circling the drain with five straight losses, there is the possibility the Raiders could finish in last place.
If Oakland loses out and Kansas City loses to Denver in Week 17 and San Diego closes out at 1-1, the Raiders and Chiefs would be 7-9. In terms of seeding purposes, the Raiders would be behind the Chiefs because of losing both games head-to-head.
It's a discussion coach Hue Jackson wants no part of, choosing instead to focus on beating the Chiefs and Chargers to finish 9-7 and get enough help to play in the postseason.
"It's too negative to even dwell on," Jackson said. "The way we approach it is we just need to win within our division. We know how to do it. We've been there before. (Kansas City) came here the first time and got after us.
"We get a chance to go to their home stadium and play the way we know how to play and play better than we've played, and that's what we need to do."
Kansas City, 6-8 after knocking off the unbeaten Green Bay Packers, has something to play for under interim coach Romeo Crennel. In the event of a four-way tie among AFC West teams at 8-8, the Chiefs would be division champions by virtue of a 4-2 record within the division.
While Sunday's end result against Detroit was a crushing disappointment, Jackson liked the way his team competed after consecutive road losses to Miami and Green Bay.
"We're not out of this thing yet. I still feel that way," Jackson said. "This team is going to fight. I think heading into this game everyone was concerned if the team would even show up, so one thing we know -- they'll show up.
"Now all we need to do is show up and go win, because I think we can."
Shorted a day in terms of preparation with a Saturday game, players were off Monday and the Raiders begin preparations for the Chiefs on Tuesday.
He said the only thing on his mind was kicking the extra point, taking a 13-point lead, getting a stop and closing out the game, and he wasn't considering the possibility of giving up 14.
"You look at it now, maybe that's a decision you could have did differently," Jackson said. "But at the time, I felt very comfortable where our team was being 13 up."
Jackson was fine with a fourth-and-1, play-action pass in the first quarter on which Carson Palmer missed an open Denarius Moore in the end zone, as well as a third-and-3 call with 2:32 left in the fourth quarter that came up empty from Palmer to an equally open Chaz Schilens.
"Those plays were there, and when they're there, you have to make them," Jackson said.
As for the Cover 2 defensive scheme that left Rolando McClain and Jerome Boyd responsible for Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson -- resulting in a looping 48-yard gain -- Jackson said it was another case of players needing to make a play to close out a game.