Raiders playoff picture: How Las Vegas can clinch AFC wild-card spot in Week 18

6 months ago 79
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The Raiders started 3-0 and 5-2 in the 2021 NFL season. But to make the AFC playoffs for the first time representing Las Vegas, they still need one more win in the year 2022.

Going into Week 18, here's how the Raiders can clinch a wild-card playoff berth behind the Chiefs to get into the tournament toward Super Bowl 56:

Las Vegas either needs to make its own luck or roll the dice as a longshot with three ways in all to clinch a playoff spot.

NFL WEEK 18 PICKS: Straight up | Against the spread

1. Raiders win in Week 18

The Raiders, the current No. 8 in the AFC standings, will host the division rival Chargers, the current No. 7 seed, on Sunday night (8:20 p.m. ET).  If Las Vegas can even the season series as field-goal underdogs and get revenge from a 28-14 Week 4 loss at Los Angeles, it would get.a berth displacing Los Angeles with a 10-7 record.

2. Raiders tie but Colts lose

In the unlikely even the Raiders play the Chargers to an overtime draw, they can still get in at 9-7-1 should the Colts, the current No. 6, fall to 9-8. The Colts, however, are massive road favorites against the Jaguars. The Chargers also would make the playoffs at 9-7-1 in that scenario.

MORE: Complete NFL playoff picture for Week 18

3. Raiders lose but Colts and Steelers also lose

The Raiders also would have a chance if they were to lose to the Chargers. Before they play the game on Sunday night, they would need the Colts to lose the Jaguars and the Ravens, as slight home favorites, to beat the Steelers. Should those events play out, the Raiders, Colts and Ravens would all be 9-8.

There's no need to dig deep for tiebreakers in that three-way deadlock. The Raiders beat the Ravens in Week 1 and the Colts in Week 17, which would put them in over both teams as the No. 7 seed behind the Chargers.

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