The Raiders had no chance of winning AFC West before they even entered the field on Sunday.
Three hours later, their wildcard chances were dealt a heavy blow due to an ugly 44:27 loss to the Colts at Allegiant Stadium.
Kansas City won the division with its win over Miami, a game that actually helped the Raiders’ playoff chances.
The Raiders should have won and the Chiefs should have lost their last four games to force a division into a draw. So the Wild Card was always the best way to get into the off-season.
Those odds look longer now as they fell to 7-6 with the loss. The Browns and Colts both have nine wins. The Colts now have the tie-breaker against the Raiders, and the Raiders have the tie-breaker against the Browns due to their 16-6 win on November 1st.
If these two teams manage to secure these two wildcard spots, only the third spot will remain, which was implemented this year for the Raiders, 8-5 Dolphins and 7-5 Ravens.
On the Sunday Night Football show, NBC listed the Raiders’ chances of the playoffs at 26 percent.
The scoreboard will start in earnest Monday evening when the Browns house the ravens. A Cleveland win would put the Raiders in a much stronger position. The Ravens will be strong favorites in each of their last three games.
There are several ways that tiebreakers could come into play on the road, but the only real scenario for the Raiders to make the playoffs would be to win their last three games, including a prime-time home game against the Dolphins Hope On a little help. In that case, they’d have a head-to-head tiebreaker with Baltimore, but could get lost in the shuffle if three or more teams are tied.
Coach Jon Gruden insists he doesn’t worry about what all the other teams are doing in the race.
“We can’t worry about the playoffs and who wins and loses in the league,” he said. “We have to take care of our business. I don’t want to hear any more playoff questions. “
The challenge now is to put a disappointing loss in the rearview mirror and try to regroup in a short week to play a division rival in the Chargers on Thursday who became a heartbreaker against the Raiders in Los Angeles last month has lost.
“If you need a win against a team that is fighting for a playoff spot and you don’t get it, it’ll tear your heart out,” said quarterback Derek Carr. “It is what it is. You can’t get it back, but if it’s not the last game of the season you have to go ahead and prepare for another game.”
Moreau supports ALS research
The narrow end of the Raiders, Foster Moreau, wore shoes recognizing the safety of the former Saint Steve Gleasons No White Flags Foundation as part of the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats program.
Moreau, who scored a 47-yard touchdown in the first quarter, said he looked up to Gleason as a teenager in Louisiana.
“Team Gleason is basically a fundraiser and research by ALS to help those affected by ALS and raise money to find a cure and advance technology to help those people,” he said. “No white flags mean much to me when I’m from New Orleans.”
Behind the eight ball
The defensive battles of the Raiders put the offensive in a bad starting position throughout the game.
Indianapolis only tripped once and didn’t flip the ball, leaving the Raiders with no chances in a short field.
Carr and the offense never started a ride outside of their own 25-yard line. The average starting field position was 24.
The defense suffers more casualties
Defender Clelin Ferrell left Sunday’s game in the first half after injuring his shoulder. This was the latest in a string of injuries to this side of the ball.
Cornerback Damon Arnette and safety Jeff Heath missed the competition with concussions, and safety Johnathan Abram and linebacker Nicholas Morrow left Sunday’s game to be screened for concussions.
Defensive end Carl Nassib was a good scratch for a second game in a row.
Contact Adam Hill at [email protected] Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.