The Las Vegas Raiders crushed the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday Night Football to open Week 15. They scored 49 straight points to open the game en route to a 63-21 victory. The win snapped a three-game losing streak that had culminated in an embarrassing 3-0 loss to the Vikings in Week 14.
The Raiders improved to 6-8 with the win and kept their faint playoff hopes alive. They sit 1.5 games back six different teams that are 7-6. That group includes the Steelers, Colts, Texans, Broncos, Bengals, and Bills. The Steelers and Colts currently hold the final two wild card berths.
Las Vegas has a long way to go, but there are ways they could still make the playoffs.
Update — The Raiders defeated the Chiefs in Week 16 20-14 on the road to improve to 7-8 on the season. Las Vegas remains in the playoff hunt in the AFC. The Raiders will still need to win out and get plenty of help in order to make the postseason. But Las Vegas has played well down the stretch, particularly the defense. RB Zamir White has also stepped up big the past two weeks with Josh Jacobs sidelined.
Las Vegas Raiders current odds
Week 16: @ Chiefs
Week 17: @ Colts
Week 18: vs. Broncos
The Raiders face a tough three-game stretch to close the season, but they get two games against teams they need to pass in the wild card race. All three are winnable given how wild this season is, but I think at best they win two of these games. That is also a bit optimistic given how quickly Las Vegas has shown things can go south, so we’re going with a 1-2 finish to the season.
Final record prediction: 7-10
Current NFC playoff standings
The Raiders will not make the playoffs. They have a chance with an 8-9 or 9-8 record, but they need a lot of help. I’ve found some ways to make it happen in ESPN’s NFL Playoff Machine, but I don’t think they get that eighth win. And even if they do, I think they come up short.