How the Oakland Raiders Can (Realistically) Make the Playoffs

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November 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Andre Holmes (18, left) is congratulated by wide receiver Amari Cooper (89, right) against the New York Jets during the second quarter at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Storming out of the bye week with two back-to-back impressive victories against the Chargers and Jets, the hype train surrounding the Raiders is beginning to pick up steam. Various talking heads in the sporting media are now using the magical p-word when talking about this year’s Raiders team: playoffs.


Yes, playoffs. The Raiders at 4-3 are very much in the playoff hunt, tied for the fourth-best record in the AFC with the Jets, who they just defeated in a key head-to-head matchup. With the Broncos seemingly firmly in control of the AFC West, the Bengals fully in control of the AFC North, and the Patriots in firm control of the AFC East, the three contenders right now to claim the two wild card spots are the Jets, Raiders and Steelers. The AFC South will likely be won by a team with a .500 or worse record.

The Raiders have a big chance to help themselves when they go to Pittsburgh this weekend, but will have to continue their winning ways on through the heart of their schedule in order to be one of the last teams standing after Week 17. Here’s how they can get it done:

Next: Keys to the Wild Card: Split the Next Two