Oakland Raiders
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
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Oakland Raiders loss to Jets makes playoff road much tougher

The Oakland Raiders were set up for a dream scenario this upcoming Sunday.

Had the Raiders beaten the New York Jets, they would have gone into Arrowhead Stadium at 7-4 for a showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City and Oakland, fighting for first place in the division.

A loss would have done little harm to the Raiders’ playoff chances, even if effectively ending the divisional dream. However, they were blown out 34-3 to the Jets at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. As a result, Oakland now finds itself in a borderline must-win situation.


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At 6-5, the Raiders are on the outside of the AFC playoff picture. Oakland is tied with the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers for the sixth and final seed. Pittsburgh currently holds the necessary tiebreakers.

Going into Kansas City, the Oakland Raiders face the pivot point of their season. With a win, Oakland would actually overtake the Chiefs for first place in the AFC West via tiebreaker. A loss, and the Raiders are 6-6 and suddenly looking at having to win out against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Chargers and Denver Broncos. Not impossible, but certainly not easy, and not probable.

For Oakland to beat Kansas City, it’ll need to play the most complete game of its season by a wide margin. The line opened favoring the Chiefs by 8.5 points at home, but the number has already ballooned to 10 with bettors dropping money on the home team.

The Oakland Raiders will enter the Week 13 affair as the only team with a winning record to have a negative point differential. Despite being 6-5, Jon Gruden’s club sits at -56, with the 31-point loss to the Jets helping to fuel the statistic. Additionally, the Raiders have struggled mightily against winning teams, posting a 1-4 record facing teams above .500.


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For Oakland, the season isn’t over with a loss. It’s simply made far more complicated after blowing an opportunity against the woeful Jets. Kansas City would have been a grand bonus, a game with absolutely no pressure on the visiting side. Now, it’s even more important for the Raiders than the Chiefs. The same Chiefs who are both coming off a bye week and have the first matchup between these two in the win column, having won 28-10 in the Coliseum back in September.

The Raiders and their fans have longed to be back in the playoff hunt for years. Now they are, and they’ll be facing the pressure that comes with it on Sunday as big underdogs.

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