Raiders Most Likely Just Need to Get to 10 Wins… Here is Why

Based on their records going into Sunday’s game, the matchup between the Colts (8-4) and Raiders (7-5) feels a little like an early playoff game.

But fortunately for the Raiders, they are loaded with potential “outs” even if they lose to the Colts this week.

Here is why…

The Raiders still have the Colts and Dolphins on their schedule (which will affect their head-to-head tiebreakers), but with multiple teams likely to finish in a tie for the final wild card spots, there is a good chance the head-to-head tiebreakers won’t be the deciding factor. When head-to-head record isn’t applicable, the next tiebreaker is won/lost/tied percentage among games played within the conference. The tiebreaker after that is determined by strength of victory – which essentially tallies the opponent win percentage for every win on a team’s schedule. Based on that tiebreaker, it bodes well for the Raiders that they have wins against the Saints (10-2), Chiefs (11-1), and Browns (9-3) this year.

Assuming the Raiders finish with a 10-6 record (a big assumption perhaps), it would mean that they would finish with only four losses in the AFC. So let’s take a look at the teams the Raiders will be up against for the final three wild card spots and where each team stands in terms of their conference record.

Buffalo Bills (8-3)

Schedule: 49ers, Steelers, Broncos, Patriots, Dolphins

The Bills should win the AFC East, but with games against the 49ers, Steelers, Broncos, Patriots, and Dolphins still on the schedule, things could get interesting. As of now, the Bills only have two AFC losses, but the potential is there for them to get to five AFC losses. The Bills hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Raiders but if they win the AFC East it won’t matter.

Miami Dolphins (8-4)

Schedule: Chiefs, Patriots, Raiders, Bills

The Dolphins only have three AFC losses, but they have one of the most brutal schedules in the NFL over the next four weeks. It’s hard to imagine Miami coming away with more than two more wins this year. 10 wins is probably the best case scenario for Miami, especially with a rookie quarterback at the helm.

Cleveland Browns (9-3)

Schedule: Ravens, Giants, Jets, Steelers

Notably, the Raiders own the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Browns, but Cleveland is 9-3 and doesn’t figure to close out the season with only one more win. Or will they? The Browns do finish the season with games against the Ravens, Giants, Jets, and Steelers. So a 10-6 finish for the Browns is still well within reach.

Tennessee Titans (8-4)

Schedule: Jaguars, Lions, Packers, Texans

A favorable schedule should give the Titans at least two wins. If they win only two games, however, that leaves the Titans with 10 wins on the year… and most likely five losses in the AFC. They are currently at four losses in the AFC. The Texans, by the way, should be the second favorite team of every Raider fan for the next four weeks.

Indianapolis Colts (8-4)

Schedule: Raiders, Texans, Steelers, and Jaguars

If the Colts beat the Raiders on Sunday, they still might only get to 10 wins by losing to both the Texans and the Steelers. Again, the Texans will be a major factor as the AFC playoff picture comes together… they just won’t be in the playoffs themselves.

Baltimore Ravens (6-5)

Schedule: Cowboys, Browns, Jaguars, Giants, Bengals

The Ravens already have five AFC losses, but they are a decent threat to win out and finish with 11 wins. The Giants and Browns won’t go down easily and the Raiders would own the tiebreaker with if both teams finish with 10 wins. Basically, it’s GO COWBOYS on Tuesday night.

New England Patriots (6-6)

Schedule: Rams, Dolphins, Bills, Jets

The Patriots are a threat to win their final four games and finish 10-6. They also have the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Raiders. In a three-way tie at 10-6, the Raiders and Patriots would have a tie in conference wins. But fortunately for the Raiders, their wins have come against teams with better records and they should be able to hold on to that advantage over the Patriots for the third tiebreaker.

So what does all this mean for the Raiders?

Basically, there are 8 teams vying for five playoff spots in the AFC (the Chiefs and Steelers essentially have their divisions won). The Raiders can do themselves a huge favor by beating the Colts on Sunday. But even if they lose and win the next three games, the Raiders have very good odds (as of today) of earning a playoff wild card because of their record in the AFC.

There is still a lot of football left to be played and this week is definitely not a “do or die” game for the Raiders… but it sure wouldn’t hurt to just win, baby!

twitter: @raidersbeat


1 thought on “Raiders Most Likely Just Need to Get to 10 Wins… Here is Why

  1. Very good write up, but Gruden is afraid of putting his foot on the throat of his opponent and Carr agrees with him. We fans accept our defensive weaknesses; but our offense is very capable of 30+ PT games every week. #Let it rip

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