Well, the Las Vegas Raiders playoff hopes are looking like just that...hopes, but they do still have an outside shot at the AFC’s third wild card spot.
The Raiders are 10th in the conference, but Las Vegas is only one game back for that coveted seventh seed. However, they’re currently chasing the Bengals, who have the head-to-head tiebreaker, so it’s really more like a 1.5 game lead.
Week 13 didn’t have as much drama as we’ve seen recently, but it certainly shook up the AFC playoff picture, so let’s take a look at what happened and where things stand.
Los Angeles Chargers 41 Cincinnati Bengals 22
- Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers: 26/35, 317 passing yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
- Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers: 19 total touches, 103 total yards, 1 TD
- Mike Williams, WR, Chargers: 5 catches, 110 yards
- Drue Tranquil, LB, Chargers: 10 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 PD, 1 QB hit
- Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals: 24/40, 400 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
- Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals: 19 carries, 54 yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble
- Tee Higgins, WR, Bengals: 9 catches, 138 yards, 1 TD
- Sam Hubbard, EDGE, Bengals: 5 total tackles, 0.5 sack, 1 TFL, 2 QB hits
Speaking of the Bengals, this one will go down as a “what could have been” game as turnovers and drops played a big factor in their loss. Burrow also played with a dislocated finger which didn’t help matters, and Herbert carved up Cincy’s secondary.
Las Vegas didn’t get much help here as Cincinnati takes over the seventh spot, and Los Angeles pulls away by a game while also climbing up to the No. 6 team. The Chargers will host the Giants next week, while the Bengals head back to the West Coast to take on the 49ers.
Indianapolis Colts 31 Houston Texans 0
- Carson Wentz, QB, Colts: 16/22, 158 passing yards, 1 TD
- Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts: 32 carries, 143 yards, 2 TDs
- Michael Pitman, WR, Colts: 6 catches, 77 yards
- Kenny Moore, CB, Colts: 4 total tackles, 2 PDs
I won’t waste your time too much on this once since it was a snooze fest and went as expected. The Colts dominated start to finish and are now 7-6 and the ninth-best team in the conference. They have a bye before taking on the Patriots at home on Sunday Night Football in two weeks.
Baltimore Ravens 19 Pittsburgh Steelers 20
- Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens: 23/37, 253 passing yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 8 rushes, 55 rushing yards
- Devonta Freeman, RB, Ravens: 14 carries, 52 yards, 1 TD
- Mark Andrews, TE, Ravens: 4 catches, 50 yards
- Brandon Williams, DT, Ravens: 11 total tackles, 1 TFL
- Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers: 21/31, 236 passing yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
- Najee Harris, RB, Steelers: 26 total touches, 107 total yards
- Dionte Johnson, WR, Steelers: 8 catches, 105 yards, 2 TDs
- T.J. Watt, EDGE, Steelers: 6 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, 3 TFLs, 6 QB hits
The failed two-point conversion might be getting the headlines, but Jackson’s insistence on keeping plays alive played a big role in the seven times he was sacked and two turnovers he accounted for. Pittsburgh’s defense deserves a lot of credit, though. They held all Baltimore rushers not-named Lamar Jackson to under four yards per carry and the Ravens only averaged 4.7 yards per play overall.
Baltimore heads to Cleveland still as the AFC North leader and current three-seed in the playoff picture. Pittsburgh would be the first team out of the postseason if it started today, but they have a chance to put some pressure on the Bengals with a Thursday Night Football matchup against the Vikings.
Denver Broncos 9 Kansas City Chiefs 22
- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Broncos: 22/40, 257 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
- Javonte Williams, RB, Broncos: 29 total touches, 178 total yards, 1 receiving TD
- Jerry Jeudy, WR, Broncos: 4 catches, 77 yards
- Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Broncos: 4 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 2 QB hits
- Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs, 15/29, 184 passing yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs: 17 total touches, 82 total yards
- Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs: 3 catches, 27 yards
- Willie Gay, LB, Chiefs: 8 total tackles, 0.5 sacks, 1 TFL, 1 PD, 1 QB hit
Kansas City’s defense has certainly turned things around but so has Mahomes, and not in a good way. The gunslinger was far from sharp last night and the offense only accounted for 16 points. On their five-game win streak, the Chiefs’ offense has scored more than 20 points once...Week 11...against the Raiders...
As for Denver, they continue to be a bit of a mystery team and are in a worse position than Las Vegas with the 12th-spot in the conference, granted both squads hold 6-6 records. Regardless, the Bronco’s playoff hopes are slipping away.
The Cheifs lead the division and are the current four-seed with the Raiders coming into town next week. The Broncos get to play host to the no longer winless Lions next Sunday.
Still to play: New England Patriots (1-seed) at Buffalo Bills (5-seed).
In other Raiders’ links:
- Drake breaks ankle: the running back left the game early and will be out for the rest of the year.
- 5 things we learned: check out Williamson’s takeaways from yesterday’s game
- Dabo Swinney in Vegas: Clemson’s current head coach was decked out in Raiders gear on the sideline...could he be the next head coach? Probably not.
- Tape Don’t Lie: check out our instant reaction show.