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NFL playoff picture: Raiders blow chance at AFC West lead

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NFL: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The last decade plus has brought much heartache and frustration for Raiders fans, then last years 12-4 season happened. Fans were finally given reason to be excited and to have hope for the coming season. The offseason came and went with Oakland adding numerous upgrades at various positions.

So naturally the Raiders were talked about as Super Bowl favorites, after 13 games the team is 6-7 and drowning in incompetence. The hopes of the Raider faithful have been dashed and replaced with more frustration and all hope fading quickly. Derek Carr, the offensive line and Todd Downing appear to be the main reasons for the dashed hopes and incompetence.

While hopes are fading the Raiders are still technically in it, for now. Let’s take a look at the AFC Playoff picture.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs (7-6)

Like a superhero the Raiders swooped in and saved the Chiefs’ season which was spiraling out of control. They beat Oakland easily 26-15.

Los Angeles Chargers (7-6)

With their season on the line the Chargers defeated Washington 30-13 and remain tied for 1st place in the AFC West.

Oakland Raiders (6-7)

Oakland, also with their season on the line, had a complete no-show in Kansas City with 1st place in the division and a playoff spot up for grabs. While technically still in it the Raiders have a snowball’s chance in Hell of making it now. Derek Carr had the worst outing of his career yet again in Arrowhead. Stars rise to the occasion and he did not.

Denver Broncos (4-9)

The Broncos snapped their losing streak by beating the New York Jets 23-0 but still remain in the AFC West basement.

Division leaders

1. Steelers (11-2)

2. Patriots (10-3)

3. Jacksonville (9-4)

4. Chiefs (7-6)

Wild Card Teams in Order

5. Tennessee Titans (8-5)

Losing to the Arizona Cardinals dropped them out of 1st place in their division. Luckily for them they still lead the wild card race.

6. Buffalo Bills (7-6)

They were able to get their season back on track in a wild game that looked like it was a throwback to the early ice bowls beating the Indianapolis Colts 13-7.

7. Baltimore Ravens (7-6)

Baltimore lost a close game to division rival Pittsburgh at the end of regulation falling 38-39 and remaining tied for the final wild card spot. They currently lose the tiebreaker to Buffalo and that keeps them out as of now.

8. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6)

Same record as the Bills and Ravens but will need to finish with a better record in order to sneak into the playoffs.

9. Oakland Raiders (6-7)

Clinging on by nothing more than a hope and a prayer but that is about all of the chance they have of making it.

10. Miami Dolphins (6-7)

Miami is suddenly trying to get back into the hunt with a win against the New England Patriots on Monday night 27-20. Unfortunately like the Raiders their hopes are merely mathematical and the likelihood of them getting in is about as likely as winning the lottery.

11. New York Jets (5-8)

The Jets lost another one essentially putting their playoff hopes on life support.

12. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8)

The Bengals are preparing for that final nail in their coffin by getting blown out by a very bad Chicago Bears team.


Oakland is exactly where it deserves to be on the outside looking in after a no-show in what should have been a winnable game. Jack Del Rio confirming that OC Todd Downing will finish out the season is essentially admitting the season is over. Downing staying on is more indicative of the lack of options and help he was provided as a rookie coach.