Tie-Breaker Rules Would Almost Certainly Put the Raiders in the Playoffs With a 10-6 Record (Regardless of Who They Lose to)

As of today, the Raiders are still on the outside looking in at the playoffs, but their chances of making the postseason are much better than they might appear.

Even with a loss to the Colts on Sunday (hypothetically, of course), the Raiders still have a schedule that should get them to 10 wins. They get the Colts, Chargers, and Dolphins at home and travel to the Broncos to close out the regular season.

With the Patriots loss to the Rams on Thursday night, they are now out of the Raiders playoff equation, assuming the Raiders can get to 10 wins. For the sake of argument, let’s put the Browns and Colts in the playoffs as wild cards and that would leave the Raiders battling Miami and Baltimore for the final playoff spot.

Miami is 8-4, but they play the Chiefs, Patriots, Raiders, and Bills to close out the year. With that schedule, the odds of the Dolphins finishing with 10 wins is very slim, especially with a rookie quarterback. The Dolphins could still earn the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Raiders, but if they both finish with 10 wins, the Raiders are guaranteed to hold the multi-team tiebreaker.

As long as the Dolphins don’t shock the world and win 3 of those games, the Ravens should end up being the Raiders top competition for the final playoff spot (assuming, of course, the Raiders can get to 10 wins). The 6-5 Ravens have a relatively soft schedule to finish the season, but Monday night’s game at the Browns could prove to be huge.

Here’s what would happen if the Ravens lose to the Browns…

Most importantly, it would guarantee the Ravens to finish with no more than 10 wins. The Raiders (at 10-6) would then hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with Baltimore, but also the three-way tiebreaker with the Ravens – both due to a superior conference record.

So yes, the Raiders can do themselves a huge favor by beating the Colts on Sunday, but it’s far from a “must win” game. If they lose to the Colts and the Ravens beat the Browns on Monday night, then it might be time to at least know where the panic button is… but still not quite time to push it.

For the sake of argument, let’s say the Ravens beat the Browns and Cleveland drops to 9-4. The Browns still have the Giants, Jets, and Steelers on the schedule. 10-6 would still be within reach for the Browns and at 10-6, the Browns would lose both the head-to-head and three-team tiebreakers to a 10-6 Raiders team.

So, yes, the Raiders have outs all over the place. Mostly because they hold every three-team tiebreaker with a 10-6 record as well as the head-to-head tiebreakers with Cleveland and Baltimore… and potentially Miami and Indianapolis.

Just get to 10-6, baby!

twitter: @raidersbeat


3 thoughts on “Tie-Breaker Rules Would Almost Certainly Put the Raiders in the Playoffs With a 10-6 Record (Regardless of Who They Lose to)

  1. How about “Just win Baby, Shame! they lost to Atlanta. what a force. Jets game was way to close. amazing they came out on top.

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