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NFL Playoff Scenarios, AFC Wild Card: Raiders Hanging By A Thread

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Two late game touchdowns in Week 14 have sent the Raiders to the brink of Wild Card existence. The 6-7 Raiders gave up a touchdown with just over a minute left and lost to the Jaguars. The 9-4 Ravens got a pick-six in overtime to defeat the Houston Texans. Just like that, instead of being one game out of the wild card, they are three. In fact, they are three games back of each the current AFC Wild Card teams with three games to go.

The bottom line is, the Raiders need lots of things to break their way to make the playoffs as a wild card. For starters, they’ll obviously need to win out. Secoondly, they’ll need either the Ravens or Jets to lose the remainder of their games. Thirdly, they’ll need the 7-6 AFC teams to lose a game.

The Raiders play the 7-6 Colts, so if the Raiders don’t give them the loss, it won’t matter. Now things get a little more complicated. Since the Dolphins beat the Raiders, they will need the Dolphins to lose two games or be in at least a three way tie with them.

Of course, none of that will matter, unless the Ravens start losing or the Jets continue to lose. There is a strong possibility that they both could lose this week as they are facing 10 win teams. The Ravens play host to the defending champion New Orleans Saints. The Jets will travel to Pittsburgh.

That’s the teams the Raiders have to catch. Now onto the teams they have to pass while doing so. The San Diego Chargers will host the 5-8 San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football. The Dolphins will host the 3-10 Buffalo Bills. Get your abacus out and pull out your free miracle cards, because if the Raiders are going to get a wild card spot, your going to need ’em.