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NFL playoff picture: Raiders' path to grabbing No. 6 seed in AFC


NFL playoff picture: Raiders' path to grabbing No. 6 seed in AFC

The Raiders were flying high two weeks ago, but they've come back down to Earth after back-to-back blowout losses to the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs. 

With those two Ls marked on the ledger, the Raiders now sit at 6-6 and have gone from the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs to the No. 8 spot with work to do. 

Jon Gruden's club enters Week 14 with just a seven percent chance of making the playoffs, but where there is a will there is a way. 

With four weeks remaining in the NFL season, let's take a look at exactly what the Raiders need to happen to make the playoffs for the second time since 2002. 

Week 14

First thing's first: The Raiders have to beat the Titans on Sunday at Oakland Coliseum.

With a win, the Silver and Black's playoff chances go from seven percent to 15 percent. A loss to Tennessee puts the Raiders' postseason chances at less than one percent. Not ideal. 

Now, elsewhere Sunday, the Raiders would prefer Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals do what Baker Mayfield and the Browns could not and beat Devlin Hodges and the Steelers. A Cardinals win jumps the Raiders' playoff chances to 24 percent while a Steelers win pushes them down to 11. Even if the Steelers win, a Ravens win over the Bills would slightly increase Oakland's chances to 14 percent.

So a Raiders win, and losses by the Steelers and Bills for good measure would help. 

Assuming wins by the Texans, Colts, Browns, Patriots, Chargers and Ravens, the Raiders would exit Week 14 with a 16 percent chance to make the dance. 

Week 15

Once again in Week 15, the Raiders need to beat Gardiner Minshew and the Jags or else their playoff hopes plummet to six percent. With a win, they rise back up to 24 percent absent the other Week 15 games. 

A win by the Texans over the Titans, the Bills over the Steelers and the Saints over the Colts would see the Raiders head into the final two weeks with a 21 percent chance to make the playoffs. Getting better. 

Week 16

If the Raiders can go to LA in Week 16 and beat the Bolts, their playoff percentage jumps to 47 percent. A loss takes it down to 11 and almost certainly ends their season. 

A Ravens win over the Browns would jump the Raiders' percentage even further to 55 percent. Then, if the Jets can do to the Steelers what they did to the Raiders and deliver a loss to Pittsburgh, Oakland's playoff chances would sit at 86 percent. A Steelers win over the Jets drops them back to 27 percent. 

Even if the Steelers beat the Jets, the Raiders will not be dead. Wins by the Saints, Patriots and Ravens would take their chances up to 36 percent heading into the final week. A Steelers loss to the Jets would put them in the driver's seat. 

[RELATED: Is Justin Herbert future of Raiders?]

Week 17

Assuming the Steelers enter Week 17 having lost one of their last three games (vs. Cardinals, Bills, Jets), the Raiders would need to beat Drew Lock and the Broncos and then hope Lamar Jackson and the Ravens can knock off the Steelers. 

If the Steelers win, Oakland would need the Jets to beat the Bills (assuming Buffalo has lost two of three to New England, Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the previous three weeks). That would put Pittsburgh in the No. 5 seed and Oakland in the sixth, sending the Bills to do draft prep. 

All of this, as you have probably noticed, relies on a banged-up Raiders team beating Ryan Tannehill, Gardiner Minshew, Philip Rivers/Tyrod Taylor and Drew Lock. It's doable, but it won't be easy. 

Oakland needs to rack up the Ws and hope the Ls come for the Steelers, Bills and Titans down the stretch.

Bills vs. Cowboys live stream: How to watch NFL Thanksgiving game online


Bills vs. Cowboys live stream: How to watch NFL Thanksgiving game online

The Raiders aren't playing on Thanksgiving, and yet they have something at stake in not one, but two games on Turkey Day.

Just as Oakland would benefit if the Lions beat the Bears in the early game, the Raiders likely will be cheering for the Cowboys when they host the Bills in the second game of the NFL's Thanksgiving Day slate at 1:30 p.m. PT. Since Buffalo currently sits ahead of Oakland in the AFC playoff picture, a Bills' loss would aid the Raiders in their quest to qualify for the postseason.

So, if you've been waiting for another opportunity to cheer on Amari Cooper, now's your chance.

Here’s how you can stream Bills-Cowboys:

[RELATED: Why Bears-Lions Thanksgiving game is important for Raiders]

Start time: Thursday, Nov. 28, at 1:30 p.m. PT
TV channel: CBS
Live stream: fuboTV -- Get a free trial

Why Raiders fans should watch Bills vs. Cowboys Thanksgiving game

Why Raiders fans should watch Bills vs. Cowboys Thanksgiving game

The Raiders players and coaches should be able to enjoy a nice Thanksgiving dinner. The Silver and Black aren't one of the six teams playing on the holiday this season, but that doesn't mean they won't be watching the trio of games. 

One game Raider Nation should be glued to starts at 1:30 p.m. PT when the Bills travel to face the Cowboys in Dallas. 

Despite playing an incredibly soft schedule thus far, the 8-3 Bills are one of the biggest surprise teams in the NFL this season. They also currently are in the Raiders' way when it comes to the playoffs. 

Entering Week 13, the Bills are the No. 5 seed in the AFC, while the Raiders (6-5) are in the hunt as the No. 7 seed. Oakland will need some help in the race for the playoffs after dropping a dud in a 34-3 loss to the Jets, and it starts with Dallas beating Buffalo. 

With the Raiders losing to the Jets and the Steelers (6-5) beating the Bengals last week, Pittsburgh jumped Oakland for the No. 6 seed for the final spot in the AFC playoffs. The Raiders will be scoreboard watching this Thanksgiving as any loss from a team ahead of them in the standings only helps the Silver and Black's cause to reach the postseason in their final year playing in Oakland. 

Jon Gruden's club could get right back in the race this Sunday with a win over the AFC West-leading Chiefs. A win in Kansas City will put the Raiders in a tie atop the AFC West before games against the Titans, Jaguars, Chargers and Broncos, with only Tennessee having a .500 or better record. 

[RELATED: Raiders can overcome Jets debacle by learning from past]

The Bills, on the other hand, have to face the Ravens (9-2), Steelers, Patriots (10-1) and Jets (4-7), who have won three straight. 

For one week, Raider Nation and America's Team could come together on Thanksgiving.