As a biased Raider fan the rest of the week in the NFL only matters to me as much as it affects the Raiders in the standings or the general downfall of our most hated rivals. So fellow homers, here is who you should root for week 11 as a Raider fan.
Where We Stand
At 7-2 the Raiders are in 2nd place in the AFC West behind the 7-2 Chiefs who currently hold the tiebreaker over the Raiders from a head to head victory week 6. Oakland sits as the top wildcard and the 5th seed in the AFC playoffs. If the season ended today the Raiders would travel to Baltimore for a rematch with the Ravens in round 1.
Browns (0-10) over Steelers (4-5)
How satisfying would it be if the Steelers missed the playoffs in part because of a loss to an otherwise winless team? The Raiders have a comfortable 3 game lead over Pittsburgh so they don’t pose much of a threat at this point. It’s just fun to watch those terrible towels wipe away tears after a loss.
Cowboys (8-1) over Ravens (5-4)
Just think of it as rooting for the Ravens to lose instead of the Cowboys to win. With a two game lead and a victory over the Ravens, the Raiders will only have to worry about the Ravens if the season takes a terrible turn. Better safe than sorry.
Titans (5-5) over Colts (4-5)
This is a bit of a hot take as the Titans have a half game lead over the Colts. Neither team picking up a win here is much of a threat. The Raiders currently hold a 3 game lead over the Colts. The Raiders are also 2.5 games ahead of the Titans. When factoring in Oakland’s victory over Tennessee week 3 the lead is effectively moved to 3 games.
For the purposes of Raider tiebreakers these two teams are equals. So why the Titans over the Colts? I think the Titans winning the AFC South is the best case scenario for our selfish Raider needs. Not for a matchup with the Raiders. I’m confident the Raiders can defeat all 3 teams vying for AFC South supremacy.
The Titans are the team among them that matches up best with our AFC West foes in Denver and Kansas City. Their running game, defense, and competent QB play could spell trouble for those teams in matchups down the stretch and potentially in the playoffs. The Colts on the other hand have already been shellacked by both. Go Titans!
Bengals (3-5-1) over Bills (4-5)
Just some simple maths. The Raiders have a larger lead over Cincinnati than Buffalo.
Buccaneers (4-5) over Chiefs (7-2)
Duh! The Chiefs losing is always a good thing. When they have a tiebreaker over the Raiders it’s especially desirable. With a Chiefs loss and a Raiders win this week, Oakland would take the lead in the division and move into position as the #2 seed in the AFC with a New England victory, or the #1 seed with a New England loss.
Giants (6-3) over Bears (2-7); Lions (5-4) over Jaguars (2-7); Redskins (5-3-1) over Packers (4-5)
These games are all about spite. The more teams that lose with similar or worse records than San Diego, the more the Chargers can lose without getting a better draft slot.
Cardinals (4-4-1) over Vikings (5-4)
Wouldn’t there be something special about beating Carson Palmer in a Super Bowl? Sure it’s a longshot the Raiders and Cardinals will meet in Houston, but for an NFC game that doesn’t otherwise matter to the Raider’s chances why not make that your reason? You want something more concrete? Currently the Patriots take their lead over the Raiders at the fourth tiebreaker (conference win %) and if both teams win this week, the Raiders would even up that score and send it to the fifth tiebreaker (strength of victory). Strength of victory is the combined win percentage of all opponents a team has defeated. The Raiders hold the lead over New England in this category .463-.390. The Patriots defeated the Cardinals earlier this season so that gap can only grow larger with a Cardinals loss.
Rams (4-5) over Dolphins (5-4)
Miami is way too frisky right now. Should the Raiders slip up, the Dolphins are currently the team in position to take advantage. Jay Ajayi has burst onto the scene as a playmaker at RB and lets Miami game plan around their shaky QB.
Eagles (5-4) over Seahawks (6-2-1)
An old rivalry never truly dies. There is also a deep playoff tiebreaker angle in play for this matchup. Should it come down to the strength of schedule tiebreaker for playoff seeding with the Patriots and Raiders, Seattle losing would be beneficial to Oakland since they played New England this season. Should there be an unlikely tie in strength of victory, overall strength of schedule steps up to the plate. New England’s loss to Seattle becomes a factor here. The worse Seattle’s final record the better for the Raiders in any Raiders-Patriots tiebreaker scenarios.
49ers (1-8) over Patriots (7-2)
A Patriots loss would give Oakland a one game lead over those tuck-ruling scumbags and potentially pencil in the Raiders as the top seed in the AFC should Kansas City also lose. Plus, it would be extra embarrassing to lose to a bottom rung 49er team.
Best Case Scenario
The Raiders win and the Chiefs and Patriots lose, putting Oakland in first place in the AFC without having to rely on those pesky tiebreakers. All teams on the Raiders’ heels falter.
Worst Case Scenario
The Raiders lose and the Chiefs and Patriots take a 1 game lead with wins. Teams like Miami and Pittsburgh win and close the gap in the wildcard race just a little bit.
Oh, and of course GO RAIDERS!
Written by: RediaR