The Oakland Raiders defeated Kansas City on Sunday, setting them up in a position where a little help along with a win guarantees a playoff spot.
The odds the Raiders get that help are very good. Taking a look at the Vegas Betting Lines, the team the Raiders need to absolutely have lose is the Bengals, and they are a 2.5 dog at home to Baltimore. The Raiders also need the Broncos to lose at home to those same Kansas City Chiefs for a division title to be possible. I am shocked Vegas has the Broncos as the favorites in this game. We saw this very same game in 2009, and Kansas City whalloped Denver in week 17 to knock them out of the playoffs. Also, they just defeated the Packers two weeks ago, and just gave a great game to the Raiders, especially defensively. I expect the Broncos to lose, and lose by a sizeable margin. They look just awful right now, and nobody has more passion to throttle Denver right now than Kyle Orton.
So, assuming Denver loses as I expect, the division is there. But if Denver somehow regathers itself and Tebow Time comes, they will need more help than just Cincinnati losing for the wild card. Tennessee would also have to lose to Houston OR the Jets win and stay in the tiebreaker. For some reason, the Jets in the tiebreaker nullifies the conference record tiebreak, and then Oakland beats Cincinnati, NY Jets, and Tennessee in Strength of Victory.
Most important though will be the win. The Raiders are mathematically eliminated with a loss. Darren McFadden and Jacoby Ford (in my opinion, Oakland's 2 best players) are still up in the air to play Sunday. I think the Raiders need Jacoby Ford back so badly for kickoff returning and end around plays, because Louis Murphy and Bryan McCann are at best decent in filling in for him. Mike Bush has done a fantastic job for the Raiders replacing McFadden, and although the offense is much better with him than without him, Bush will suffice.
I will even go as far to say this: If Jacoby Ford plays Sunday, the Raiders will win and make the playoffs in some way.
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EDIT: Jacoby Ford and Michael Huff did practice Wednesday, McFadden however did not.
Who of the currently injured is the most vital to the Oakland Raiders?
Jacoby Ford (13 votes)
Darren McFadden (62 votes)
Michael Huff (4 votes)
79 total votes