Raiders Still Holding On To Extremely Slim Playoff Hopes

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Despite losing two of their last three games and deciding to make a quarterback change from Derek Carr to Jarrett Stidham for the final two games of the season, the Las Vegas Raiders have not been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

The road for Josh McDaniels’ team to get into the postseason is extremely unlikely but is still possible with their odds currently around one percent. Even if the Raiders were to win their final two games, no easy feat against the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, those odds rise to just seven percent.

Aside from those wins, the Raiders would need a whole lot to go right to sneak into the postseason. First and foremost, the Dolphins would need to lose both of their final two games against the Patriots and Jets. However, the Raiders also need the Patriots to lose one of their last two games, and since they need them to beat the Dolphins, this means the Patriots must lose their season finale against the Buffalo Bills, who may or may not have clinched the top seed in the AFC by that point.

The Raiders also need the Jets to lose one of their final two games, but again, that loss would have to be in this week’s contest against the Seahawks, as the Raiders need the Jets to beat the Dolphins in Week 18. They would then need Pittsburgh to lose either of their last two games against either Cleveland or Baltimore and for the Jaguars to beat the Titans when those two teams face off for the AFC South Title in Week 18.

Nov 27, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) celebrates following a 40-34 overtime victory against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

All of this would create a massive tie for that final postseason spot which is exactly what the Raiders are looking for. There is a specific formula of tiebreakers that the NFL would then use to eliminate each of those teams one by one, and in this scenario, the final two teams left would be the Raiders and the Patriots.

Those two teams remaining would then leave it to a head-to-head tiebreaker meaning the Raiders would qualify for that final spot thanks to the still unbelievable ending that got the Raiders their 40-34 victory over the Patriots.

It is extremely unlikely and almost entirely impossible, but what better way for a completely wild and crazy season to come down to than one of the most unreal endings the NFL has ever seen in its existence.

Never say never.

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