Last week the two most important games played went in the Raiders’ direction. The Raiders of course took care of business in San Diego, and the Titans managed to take down Kansas City with a game winning field goal that put Oakland back on top of the AFC West. Fewer games this week will impact the Raiders place in the big picture; we’ll still find reasons to root.
Where We Stand
The Raiders have clinched a playoff birth for the first time since 2002 and are 11-3 with a one game lead in the AFC West over the Chiefs who hold the tiebreaker should that gap close. The first place Patriots are a single game ahead of the Raiders in the AFC standings slotting the Raiders in as the 2 seed with a bye in the first round of the playoffs. If Oakland and New England finish tied in the standings, the Raiders would take the top seed in the playoffs.
With that, let us begin…
Dolphins(9-5) over Bills (7-7)
Now that the Raiders have clinched the playoffs there is no need to fret over the Dolphins. The Bills’ slim playoff hopes are not worth keeping alive. The Dolphins on the other hand need to stay in the thick of it. In week 17 the Raiders want the Dolphins to give the Patriots everything they have so they relinquish the top spot in the AFC. The Dolphins winning a wildcard spot also keeps a team like the the Broncos out of the mix.
Jets(4-10) over Patriots(12-2)
The Raiders are one game behind the Patriots and own the tiebreaker. If Oakland wants to host the AFC championship game, the Patriots will have to lose a game between now and then.
Titans(8-6) over Jaguars(2-12)
Consider this a thank you for Tennessee’s work over the last two weeks. They took down our biggest rivals in the West and handed us an opportunity to retake our rightful place atop the division. It’s very possible they will get a chance to take out Kansas City again in the first round of the playoffs. The Titans would be the 4 seed in the playoffs if they win the AFC South and the Chiefs would visit them as the 5 seed.
Vikings(7-7) over Packers(8-6)
Aaron Rodgers has reentered the MVP race and has the media fainting in his presence. The Packers have become one of the hot “underdog” Super Bowl picks yet again behind their crafty signal caller. The Vikings can shut them up briefly.
Browns(0-14) over Chargers(5-9)
On a scale of 1-10 the Browns lone victory of the season coming at the expense of the Chargers is about a 15 on the hilarity scale.
Bears(3-11) over Redskins(7-6-1)
Maybe if the 3-11 Bears take down the Redskins this week, Scot Mclaughlan will waive another player for Reggie McKenzie to make use of.
Falcons(9-5) over Panthers(6-8)
The Falcons are one of two teams to own a 2016 victory over the Raiders. They also have a historically strong offense. While that would be a tough rematch at the end, any game in the Super Bowl will be difficult. A chance to revenge a loss on the biggest stage in what could be one of the more entertaining Super Bowls ever sounds enticing. Rooting for the Falcons to collapse down the stretch and miss the playoffs entirely, is not without merit, but the chances are slim.
Buccaneers(8-6) over Saints(6-8)
Speaking of a revenge game, what happened the last time the Raiders went to the Super Bowl? Yeah, bring it Tampa.
Cardinals(5-8-1) over Seahawks(9-4-1)
Despite their complete lack of an OL and some key injuries on defense, the Seahawks are once again one of the top teams in the league. It’s possible the Raiders would matchup well with them, but why make their road easier? Let the old rival take a loss.
49ers(1-13) over Rams(4-10)
You should be rooting that neither the 49ers nor the Chargers improve their draft positions.
Texans(8-6) over Bengals(5-8-1)
The Texans and Titans play next week. Let’s make that game as meaningful as possible. We want good TV week 17, don’t we?
Ravens(8-6) over Steelers(9-5)
Pittsburgh is the trendiest of the trendy Super Bowl picks these days. The Patriots are old hat and the Raiders and Chiefs can’t be real contenders because “reasons.” Lets swat these bumble bee impersonators and crush Queen Bee Roethlisberger out of their hive.
Broncos(8-6) over Chiefs(10-4)
A Raiders win coupled with a Chiefs loss or tie would secure the division title for the Raiders. Don’t think of this as rooting for Denver to win, think of it as rooting for Kansas City to lose. Hasten your worries about this giving the Broncos a playoff spot also. They also need to defeat the Raiders and get other help in order to make that a reality.
Lions(9-5)) over Cowboys(12-2)
The Lions winning the NFC North seems like a safer outcome than the Packers winning the division. Still, the Cowboys losing is always a fun outcome.
Worst Case Scenario
The Raiders lose to the Colts and Kansas City defeats the Broncos to reclaim the AFC West. The Patriots cruise in an easy one to secure the top seed in the AFC playoffs. The Raiders go into week 17 needing a win at Denver and a Kansas City loss to San Diego.
Best Case Scenario
The Raiders close the door on the horseshoes’ playoff hopes with a victory in Oakland. The Chiefs concede the division title with a loss to the Broncos. The Jets pull off the upset vs New England giving the Raiders control of the top seed in the AFC playoffs.
…and of course, GO RAIDERS!
Written by: RediaR
Edited by: Kenny Stapler