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NFL playoff picture: What does Patriots-Raiders mean for AFC standings

The Patriots face the Raiders in Las Vegas on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

Syndication: Arizona Republic Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Results update: The Raiders stunned the Patriots in one of the most shocking finishes in recent memory. Las Vegas blew a 17-3 lead and looked like they were going to lose and be on the verge of playoff elimination. Instead, they came back to tie the Patriots 24-24 and then won on a walk-off fumble recovery by Chandler Jones. With the win, the Raiders improve to 6-8 while the Patriots drop to 7-7. New England drops to 8th place, the Chargers improve to sixth, and the Dolphins drop to seventh.

The Patriots came back from a 17-3 deficit to beat the Raiders 24-17. With the win, New England improves to 8-6 and secures the final wild card spot in seventh place for another week. The Raiders drop to 5-9 and while they are not yet mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, they could be eliminated next week.

The New England Patriots will head west this afternoon for an AFC showdown against the Las Vegas Raiders at 4:05 p.m. ET on Fox. It’s a student vs. teacher matchup with Josh McDaniels facing Bill Belichick and the Raiders enter this game as a 2.5-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Both teams are fighting to stay alive in the AFC playoff picture and we’ll go over the playoff implications for both squads below.

Patriots playoff picture

At 7-6, New England would be the seventh and final seed in the AFC postseason bracket if the playoffs began today. The Patriots currently hold tiebreaker advantages over both the Jets and Chargers heading into Week 15.

They are technically still in the mix to win the AFC East but a loss/tie today would eliminate them from division title contention.

Raiders playoff picture

At 5-8, Las Vegas’ playoff hopes are technically still alive, but on life support. The Raiders will officially be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss and a Jets win/tie today.

Tiebreaker implications

The conference record tiebreaker is what’s giving the Patriots an advantage over the Chargers. New England is 5-3 in that category while Los Angeles is 5-4. The Pats can continue to help their case by beating AFC opponents.