The Las Vegas Raiders did their job in Week 15 of the 2023 NFL schedule, blowing out the Los Angeles Chargers inside Allegiant Stadium by the score of 63-21. It was a dominating effort from the Silver and Black in all facets of the game, but is it too little too late for them to make a playoff run down the stretch?
Las Vegas will play the early game in the three-game Christmas Day slate in Week 16, and by then, they should know where they stand in the AFC Playoff picture. There are a ton of huge games in the AFC this weekend, and six games inparticular will help clear up a lot of the logjam there currently is within the conference.
Starting on Saturday, the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers will battle it out in a crucial matchup for both teams, as Cincinnati could either win their ninth game, or end up tied with Pittsburgh at 8-7. That would be the best-case scenario for the Raiders in that matchup.
Also on Saturday, Buffalo heads to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers, and based on how the Chargers looked Thursday night, the Bills are in a great spot to win their ninth game of the season.
Raiders will have a good idea where they stand by kickoff
Christmas Eve will bring four games to keep an eye on, including the 8-6 colts at the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have been up-and-down all season, and are fresh off a loss to the lowly Carolina Panthers, so the ninth win could be coming for the Colts. Las Vegas will play Indianapolis on the road in Week 17.
The 9-5 Browns will battle against the 8-6 Houston Texans on Christmas Eve as well, and the best-case is for Houston to fall to 8-7. With a tenth win, Cleveland would be almost assured a playoff spot. Another game to keep an eye on Sunday is the 8-6 Jacksonville Jaguars against a red-hot Tampa Bay team that is fighting for the NFC South at 7-7.
Finally, the Raiders will need New England to knock off the Denver Broncos, sending their record to 8-7. There is a lot to dive into, and by the time the Raiders kick off inside Arrowhead Stadium on Monday, we will have a great picture of whether or not they have anything left to play for in terms of a playoff spot.