Two straight abysmal performances leave the Oakland Raiders on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff race. The team drops to 6-6 after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs 40-9. Jon Gruden’s squad hardly looks like the team that pulled off three wins in a row between Week 9 and Week 11. Something is obviously wrong with this team, but fortunately for them, they did enough in the first 10 games of the season to stay in the playoff race.
They’ve been outscored by ridiculous margins in the last two games and the AFC West is pretty much out of reach. However, there are still four games to be played. Their recent performances don’t inspire much confidence, but a Wild Card berth isn’t out of the question.
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AFC Playoff Standings
*Note: Updated after Sunday’s games, prior to the night game.
|1. New England Patriots||10||1||0|
|2. Baltimore Ravens||9||2||0|
|3. Houston Texans||7||4||0|
|4. Kansas City Chiefs||8||4||0|
|5. Buffalo Bills||9||3||0|
|6. Pittsburgh Steelers||7||5||0|
|7. Tennessee Titans||7||5||0|
|8. Oakland Raiders||6||6||0|
Oakland picked a bad time to lose as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans were winners on Sunday. That leaves the Raiders a full game behind both teams for the last wild card spot. It’s unlikely that they can catch up to the Chiefs at this point. With Sunday’s loss, they are a full two games behind Kansas City.
The Raiders hold the tiebreaker over the Indianapolis Colts to keep the eighth spot in the AFC standings. While things might seem grim for the silver and black, their playoff hopes are far from dead yet. For reference, here are how tiebreakers work in the NFL, per of NFL.com.
Head-to-head, if applicable.
Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
Strength of victory.
Strength of schedule.
Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
Best net points in conference games.
Best net points in all games.
Best net touchdowns in all games.
Raiders’ Aren’t Completely out of It
If the Raiders want to keep their playoff hopes alive, they need to get back into the win column ASAP. Playoffstatus.com gives the Raiders a 17% chance to make the playoffs in the last Wild Card spot. Luckily, the Tennessee Titans are heading to Oakland next Sunday. If they beat the Titans, then the Raiders move into the seventh spot. Considering this team is 4-1 in Oakland this season, they have a good chance to end the losing streaking. The Titans are a good team, but the Raiders and their fans will be hungry for a win in what could be the second to last game in Oakland.
What follows are the Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos. Those are all very winnable games for the Raiders and they’ve already beaten two of those teams this season. The team will need some luck as the Pittsburgh Steelers control the last Wild Card spot and hold the tiebreaker over the Raiders. The Steelers are using a third-string quarterback and have games against the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens remaining. If Oakland can win-out and finish 10-6, it’s not too farfetched to think the Steelers will finish 9-7.
It may seem dire, but things aren’t over for the Raiders. They only have one cold-weather game left and that is against a weak Broncos team. One thing is for sure, Oakland cannot afford to lose to the Titans on Sunday.