The Raiders (7-8) somehow ruled out elimination from the AFC playoffs on Week 16. They were alive with their 24-17 win over the Chargers in Los Angeles.
Oakland also got the help it needed with Pittsburgh (8-7) and Tennessee (8-7), while Indianapolis (7-8) won early Sunday. This opens a simple path for the Raiders to make the playoffs as a .500 team in 2019.
First, the Raiders need a win in Week 17 to get to 8-8. They play for the Broncos. this is a wintable road game.
NFL PLAYOFF PICTURE: Updated AFC, NFC Scores for Week 16
Second, the Raiders need the Steelers to lose again. Pittsburgh should also be on the road against the Ravens, but the northern AFC champions could help the Steelers case by resting key players with their first seed in the already closed AFC playoffs.
Third, the Raiders need the Titans to lose again. Tennesee also needs to get on the road against Houston, but the AFC South Texans champion has little to play with, with two top seeds and a first-round pick.
Fourth, the Raiders need the Colts to win again. Indianapolis must also go on the road against the Jaguars who have rolled out and entered the tank. This seems to be the easiest part of the equation for Auckland.
The Raiders may be representing Oakland for the last time in Week 17 before moving to Las Vegas in 2020, but they aren’t betting on home against those entering the playoffs.
The craziest things have happened to end a season.