Week 16 Pontificator: Is the Fat Lady Finally Ready to Sing?

I realize that many of you are “done”.

Well, that’s nice, but that’s not how the Pontificator rolls…

This puppy runs until THERE IS 0.0 % CHANCE the Raiders will make the playoffs.

You say there is only a 0.6% chance the Raiders get in?

Well then, yep, you should expect another Edition coming your way soon.

And by golly, here it is…

First and foremost, the Raiders need to win out (@LAC; @DEN) which goes without saying (although I just said it anyway, lol).

With that out of the way, what’s next on the Raider’s Mission (not 100%) Impossible to-do list?

  1. ALL of the following teams must get to 8-8:

Titans (0-2) (vs. Saints; @Texans)

Colts (2-0) (vs Panthers; @Jaguars) (Oak needs a two-way division tie to knock out the Titans.)

Steelers (0-2) (@Jets; @Ravens)

  1. Oak still needs one more loss from the Browns (vs. Ravens; @Bengals)

If this happens, ignoring all other outcomes, the Raiders have a 78-93 % of getting into the playoffs.

To push things to absolute certainty (100%) it requires multiple, seemingly random, mostly NFC-only matchups as we enter into Twilight Zone-esque tiebreaker territory (common games, strength of victory, etc.).

More on this later…

So what’s required in Week 16 for the Raiders to STAY ALIVE into Week 17, you ask?

  1. A Colts (H) win over the Panthers 10 am PT
  2. A Jets (H) win over the Steelers 10 am PT
  3. A Saints win over Titans (H) 10 am PT

Note: A fourth 10 am PT game, Ravens over the Browns, is not a “must” but it significantly increases Oakland’s overall chances. If instead, the Browns beat the Ravens and lose to the Bengals in Week 17 (which technically also “works”) the overall odds for Oakland to make the post-season drops to 78% (from 93% with a Browns loss in Week 16).

If the Raiders win in LA on Sunday and all 4 outcomes above come to pass, the team’s chances go from <1% to 6%.

Hey, it’s progress, lol.

Taking this to its illogical conclusion, this is what has to happen in Week 17 for the Raider to claim Seed 6.

  1. The Colts beat the Jaguars (H) 10 am PT
  2. The Ravens (H) defeat the Steelers 10 am PT
  3. The Texans (H) defeat the Titans (H) 10 am PT
  4. *The Bengals (H) beat the Browns (*Required only if the Browns beat the Ravens in Week 16) 10 am PT

These outcomes, when combined with a Raider win over the Broncos in Week 17, increases Oakland’s post-season chances to 93%.

Looking for 100% absolute certainty? There are a few ways this could work out but it would be highly impractical to list every possible combination. That said, if you want a specific scenario to root for, simply add these seemingly random outcomes from Weeks 16 and 17 and Seed #6 would be a done deal.

  1. Seahawks (H) over Cards – Week 16
  2. Niners (H) over Rams – Week 16

Plus ANY of the following: A Bears win (sorry!); Broncos (H) over Lions (sorry 2x!); Pats (H) over Dolphins (never-ending apologies?!); Chargers over Chiefs (H) (wow, tough to root at all here!); Lions (H) over Packers (finally something not inherently terrible!)


Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Merry Christmas!

Here’s a link to the freshly-minted “Pontificator Archive”.


Every past Pontification is listed dating back to 2016.  Kinda funny to read some of them now.  The only year that’s not there is 2018 cuz ‘Ya Basic!’  Actually we were sub-Basic in ’18 and didn’t sniff anything close to the playoffs…