Raiders now control playoff fate

Every game counts.

For some teams, this statement no longer applies, as their fate after the regular season has already been determined. But for a number of teams in the playoff race, like Las Vegas, the cliché couldn’t hold more truth.

The Raiders haven’t made a playoff trip since the 2016 season, when they lost in a Wild Card game to the Houston Texans.

Las Vegas is currently tied at 8-7 with the Baltimore Ravens and division rival the Los Angeles Chargers. All three are fighting for seventh place in the AFC final.

For the Las Vegas Raiders, it’s simple. Win your last two games and you make the NFL playoffs. Lose one of them and it’s not over either, you just need some help.

For now, the Raiders have an 18% chance of qualifying for the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Las Vegas has a lot more to say about its fate than just getting two more wins. The team will have a Week 17 meeting with the Indianapolis Colts, one of the teams currently ahead of the Raiders in the playoff photo.

The last game in Las Vegas will then be against the Chargers. A victory for the Raiders in this game (assuming they beat Indianapolis) will secure them a ticket to the playoffs.

If that scenario came true, the Raiders would have won four straight games to end the season. They haven’t won four in a row since 2016, when they enjoyed a six-game winning streak.

Things are about to get chaotic in the NFL. One thing is for sure though: the final two weeks of the regular season will separate the teams that belong and those that don’t.

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