NFL Playoff Picture: Oakland Raiders Look To Win, Get Some Help

The Oakland Raiders enter Week 17 with playoff hopes awaiting their own result as well as several other results throughout the day. The Raiders have battled through numerous significant injuries, most notably Darren McFadden's foot injury, and emerged with a legitimate chance to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

First and foremost, the Raiders need to beat the San Diego Chargers. The Raiders are a three point favorite in a game that could be incredibly unpredictable. The Chargers are playing for pride and a coach likely to be fired Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. The Raiders should win this game, but they have been an up and down team in must-win games, so we'll see how it plays out.

If the Raiders can beat San Diego, their playoff hopes then rest on the shoulders of several other teams. They have a chance at the AFC West and the second AFC wild card depending on who else loses. The Raiders will be scoreboard watching for the outcomes of the Broncos, Bengals, and Titans games to learn their fate.

Pending a Raiders win, if Denver loses, the Raiders claim the AFC West. The Raiders and Broncos both play at 1:15pm PT, so both will be playing all-out for the victory. Although the Chargers could tie the Broncos with a win over Oakland, they lose a tiebreaker with Denver.

Oakland's wild card hopes will be partially figured out by the time Raiders-Chargers kicks off. In order to claim the wild card, Oakland needs to win, have the Bengals lose and either the Jets win or the Titans lose. The Jets/Titans issue is in place because if the Jets lose, the Titans strength of schedule increases enough that it would surpass the Raiders for that tiebreaker.

The Titans travel to Houston while the Jets travel to Miami, with both games happening at 10:00am PT. If the Jets lose and the Titans win, the Raiders will be out of the wild card picture and simply looking for the Chiefs to beat the Broncos in the Kyle Orton "revenge" game. Let the insanity begin!

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