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NFL Playoff Picture, AFC West: Raiders Approaching Do or Die

With the Raiders 38-31 loss in Jacksonville on Sunday, they have left themselves no room for mistakes over the final three games. The good news for the Raiders is that they did not lose any ground to the first place Kansas City Chiefs. So, the Raiders end the day, just as they started it, two games back. The only difference is there are now only three to play.

Of course the good news is not without a slight taint as the Chiefs’ loss meant a San Diego Chargers’ win. The Chiefs went to San Diego without the services of QB Matt Cassel, who was recovering from an appendectomy surgery. Brodie Croyle replace Cassel under center and led the Chiefs offense to zero points in a 31-0 loss.

The now 7-6 Chargers moved a game ahead of the 6-7 Raiders. The Raiders will hold any AFC West tie-breakers. So, if they win their remaining three games, they will need the Chargers to lose just one of their last three and the Chiefs to lose one of the next two, before the Raiders travel to Arrowehead for the Week 17 showdown.

Next week the Chiefs will travel to St. Louis to take on the 6-7 Rams. It is not yet known if Cassel will be able to play for this game. The Chiefs will likely need him. They are just 2-5 on the road this season. Meanwhile, the Chargers will stay in San Diego to host the 5-8 San Francisco 49ers.

The Denver Broncos' loss to the Arizona Cardinals and are now mathematically eliminated from Wild Card contention. They remain eliminated from AFC West contention.