How the Las Vegas Raiders could make the playoffs

Can the Las Vegas Vegas Raiders still make the NFL playoffs? The answer is yes, technically they still can, however, they need loads of help.

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The Las Vegas Raiders (ie. the ‘Lost Wages Raiders’) have had a disappointing season. Despite having one of the best receivers in the game in Davante Adams and a running back, Josh Jacobs, who might lead the NFL in rushing yards, the Raiders aren’t going to the playoffs. That is, they won’t be going to the playoffs unless a lot of things align for them in the last two weeks.

We worked it out (with help from FiveThirtyEight) and put together a scenario where Las Vegas still makes the playoffs. We’re not saying that it’s the only scenario but the permutations and combinations are too many to fit in an article that people will actually read.

One way the Raiders could still make the playoffs

Las Vegas is not mathematically eliminated from making the postseason yet. Throwing out tie games and dealing with just wins and losses, here is one way that the Raiders could make the playoffs.

Firstly, they would have to go 2-0 for the balance of the season. One more loss and they are out. Should the Raiders tie a game, then they are out. They have to beat both San Francisco and Kansas City in the upcoming weeks. That’s not exactly the easiest schedule for a team to have to go 2-0 against. Yet, if the Raiders accomplish that, then it still does not guarantee anything.

Miami Dolphins can’t win another game

Miami, who is 8-7, winning another game would eliminate the Raiders. The Dolphins play New England and the New York Jets. Miami must go 0-2 for the Raiders to get in.

We start with the simple fact that the Raiders need four results to go their way. But if the Raiders go 2-0 and Miami goes 0-2, Las Vegas would actually remain long shots to make the 2022/23 NFL playoffs.

Next, the New England Patriots would have to lose to Buffalo in Week 18. That’s five events that must happen for Vegas to make the playoffs. If those five events happened, Lost Wages would still be a long shot to make the postseason.

The Jets have to lose to Seattle in Week 17 for the Raiders to make the playoffs. With those six events assumed, Las Vegas would then be small favorites to make it into the playoffs. The Raiders would also need Pittsburgh to go either 1-1 or 0-2 for the balance of the season. With this seventh event assumed, the Raiders would become pretty heavy favorites to make the NFL playoffs.

Finally, there’s something to think about in the AFC South. One of Jacksonville or Tennessee will win the division. The two teams play one another in Week 18. Whoever finishes second, Las Vegas at 8-9 would have to beat that team on tiebreakers or outright. It helps Vegas if Jacksonville loses on Thursday night. There’s an eighth event that needs to happen.

If it all sounds like too much, then you’re probably right. Vegas beating San Francisco in Week 17 alone is not likely to happen let alone all the other events. The Raiders are +9.5 with bet365 for the game. It seems like the most likely way that Las Vegas makes the playoffs is in 2023/24.