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Oakland Raiders' Playoff Chances Soaring Heading into Week 17

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What a whacky season this has been for the Raiders. I don't remember another one that has been filled with this many ups and downs and heart stopping moments.

Chances are, that the biggest heart stopping moments await, too. It is going to be a wild Week 17.

The Raiders will play at 1:15 p.m. PST next week, and so will the two games they will be watching the most closely: Broncos vs. Chiefs and Bengals vs. Ravens. This could make for a whole lot of craziness come about 4:00 p.m..

How to Win the West

This is simple. The Raiders win and the Broncos lose. That's it. And there is a very good chance of this happening. The Chargers were awful today, and they will have nothing to play for, and the Raiders have owned them.

The Broncos were even worse today. Either Jesus was too busy preparing for his birthday, or Tim Tebow is just straight out of miracles because nothing was going right. The most alarming thing for the Broncos is the disintegration of their defense.

What a game that is going to be. Kyle Orton has a chance to knock the team out of the playoffs that cut him. I wonder how the Broncos front office feels about that move right now?

How to Win the Wild Card

The first thing that needs to happen is that the Raiders need to win, the Broncos need to win and the Bengals need to lose. All three of those must occur.

After that, the Raiders need:

A) The Jets win

B) The Titans lose

If either or both of those two happen, the Raiders are golden.

So, the only way the Raiders don't get the wild card if they and the Broncos win and the Bengals lose is if the Jets lose to Miami and the Titans win.

The Raiders, and us, will know the outcome of the Jets at Dolphins and the Titans at Texans right around kickoff time.

So we will be huge Jets and Texans fans! The Texans destroyed the Titans earlier in the year, but they will have absolutely nothing to gain in that game.

It is hard to see them beating the Titans. Meanwhile, the Jets have to win and the Dolphins will be playing out the string, but I expect that to be a competitive game. They Jets have been destroyed in their two games without S Jim Leonhard.

Let's hope the Jets can pull it out because you gotta love the Ravens chances to knock off the Bengals. Pittsburgh will be playing the same time as the Ravens. So the Ravens will be giving that one everything they have.

Outlook

The crazy thing is, that if the Raiders make the playoffs, this is probable less advantageous for them then making it as the wild card. If they win the West, they will be staring at a matchup with either the Ravens or the Steelers. I don't like that proposition. I'll take the playoffs anyway I can get it, but I'd much rather play TJ Yates and the Texans, which is what Oakland will have if they win the wild card.