Three weeks ago it looked like a sure bet that the Raiders would be in the playoffs. Three weeks later and those same Raiders are on the outside looking in. With so many different scenarios in play keeping track of Oakland’s playoff possibilities is like keeping track of all the plotlines in a Korean soap opera.
Luckily for us Bill Williamson over at ESPN.com took the time to layout every scenario not only for the Raiders but the entire AFC West.
To be honest, the picture looks grim for Oakland. This three game skid could not have come at a worst time. The Raiders no longer control their own fate and as a result will need help in addition to helping themselves.
The obvious necessity is to win the final two games against the Chiefs and suddenly surging Chargers. That would give Hue Jackson’s team its best chance to make the postseason.
However the Denver Broncos are currently in the driver seat. They’ll take the AFC West crown this weekend if the Raiders lose and the Mile High Tebows win. It’s just that simple.
For a moment let’s not even consider winning the AFC West. The Raiders might have squandered that chance long ago. Instead how about the Raiders’ wild card prospects?
Should the Raiders lose to Kansas City and the Cincinnati Bengals or New York Jets win then the silver and black are officially eliminated. The same goes for the Chargers.
In short the Raiders have no other choice but to just win, baby.
As disappointing as things have unfolded during an otherwise pleasantly surprising there is still a chance to salvage all the team’s goals. Coach Jackson and the players are well aware that their backs are to the wall. They also have no one to play except themselves. The Raiders got into this mess and now they’ll have to figure a way out of it.