How the Oakland Raiders Can (Realistically) Make the Playoffs

5 of 5

Oct 25, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers fan Bolt Man reacts from the stands during the second half of the game against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Oakland won 37-29. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Split The Late Rematches

The Raiders have two games against divisional opponents: a home game against the Chargers and a trip to Arrowhead to face the Chiefs. This is where the final playoff seeding will be determined, and the Raiders should be in a good position to end the 12-year run without a winning season or a playoff appearance.

Frankly, by week 16 there might not be a team left for the Chargers, who have been bitten badly by the injury bug. The Raiders dismantled them easily in San Diego and will likely do so again in Oakland, at what has the potential to be an emotional final NFL game at Coliseum. Look for the Raiders to win that ninth game, becoming a winning team for the first time since 2002 in front of a raucous, capacity crowd.

The Chiefs would absolutely love to play spoiler and hurt the Raiders’ playoff chances by preventing them from getting to 10-6. And at Arrowhead Stadium, that can certainly happen. Don’t be shocked if the Chiefs are able to shock the Raiders and hold them at a 9-7 record.

Live Feed

Trying to make sense of the Las Vegas Raiders offseason
Trying to make sense of the Las Vegas Raiders offseason /

NFL Spin Zone

  • Chargers are going to face Derek Carr in 2023 after all (kind of) Bolt Beat
  • Saints work with salary cap has been nothing short of miraculous Who Dat Dish
  • Ranking the NFC South after week one of free agency Blogging Dirty
  • Order your Derek Carr New Orleans Saints gear today Who Dat Dish
  • NFL Rumors: Aaron Rodgers delay, Chiefs upgrade, Saints surprise FanSided
  • At 9-7, the Raiders will need help to make the AFC Wild Card, and there are too many various scenarios to go through one by one. But in a situation where it may come down to the Raiders, Jets and Steelers all having 9-7 records contending for two wild card spots, the Raiders have already helped themselves by beating the Jets. If they can also beat the Steelers this week, it could help them secure that 5th seed should the season play out in this way.

    If the Raiders can secure the 5th seed – which they would almost surely have at 10-6 and could very likely have with wins over both the Jets and Steelers – it would mean they play the lowest-seeded division champ in the first round of the playoffs, which would almost definitely be the winner of the AFC South, where the Colts and Texans are tied at 3-5 right now. Both teams have been lousy this season, and in this scenario it’s easy to see the Raiders getting a playoff win and advancing.

    If the Raiders can NOT secure that magical 5th seed, which could very well come down to the result of this Sunday’s game, they would then face whoever finishes with the worst record out of Cincinnati, New England and Denver, all of whom currently sit undefeated almost halfway through the year.