Despite losing their last four games, the Oakland Raiders still technically have a shot at making the AFC Playoffs as a Wild Card this season.
Sitting at 6-4, the Oakland Raiders looked like a team not only good enough to be in the playoffs this season, but also a team that was destined to make it. Heading into New Jersey to take on the New York Jets, the Raiders were coming off a three-game home winning streak, and looked to take care of business against the Jets before heading to Kansas City for a shot at the AFC West crown.
Well, the Raiders lost to the Jets, but still had a chance at the division as they entered Arrowhead Stadium. Instead of competing against their division rival, they lost their second straight game by 31 points, and it has been a steep decline for this team since then.
After Sunday’s devastating loss in front of the Oakland home crowd for the last time, the Raiders have lost four straight games, and find themselves looking down the barrel of another season under .500. Sure, this was a season that was supposed to be another rebuild, but to fade the way they have in the past month has been downright disappointing.
Even with the four straight losses, the Raiders are still technically in the playoff conversation, though they will need a miracle to clinch the final Wild Card spot in the AFC. Not only do they have to win out, but the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers have to lose out, as well as find a way to get past the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts.
While it may be a longshot at the least, the Raiders fans can watch the Week 16 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers and actually still have something riding on it. Early on Sunday, the Steelers will travel to New Jersey to take on those same Jets, while the Titans will play host to the New Orleans Saints.
Both those games are lose-able for those teams. Then the focus shifts to Cleveland and Indianapolis, where the Browns take on a Baltimore Ravens team looking for the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC, and the Colts play host to the Panthers.
So you’re telling me there is a chance?
Even with all four of these teams somehow losing, the Raiders would then have to take care of business, which is something Derek Carr and his teammates have not shown they can do in recent weeks. Inconsistent play, injuries, and multiple second half disappearing acts have doomed a once-promising season, leaving Raiders fans likely home for the playoffs once again.
Of course, this is an absolute longshot, and the odds are heavily in favored of them being eliminated before they even take the field on Sunday. This is a season that had a bunch of ups and downs, but over the last month, it has been straight downhill, culminating with that embarrassing loss to the Jaguars this past Sunday.