The Raiders have been up and down and all around but, with just one game to play find themselves in one final, must-win game to earn a trip to the playoffs.
After everything they’ve been through, says defensive tackle Richard Seymour, that’s probably better than they could have asked for – especially over the last month when three straight losses put them on the verge of elimination before Saturday's dramatic win over the Chiefs.
“It’s coming down to the end of the year, a home playoff game in the Black Hole,” Seymour told Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle after Saturday’s overtime victory over Kansas City. “A home game to get into the playoffs. That’s all you can ask. An opportunity to get in the dance is all yout want.”
Yet, it’s not so clear cut.
Yes, the Raiders need to beat the visiting Chargers Sunday at O.co Coliseum. But, they need some help, too.
To win the AFC West, Oakland needs to beat San Diego – which was eliminated from the playoffs Saturday with a loss in Detroit – and have the Broncos lose to the Chiefs in Denver. Should those two things happen, Oakland would earn the No. 4 seed as AFC West champs and host a wild-card game against either Pittsburgh or Baltimore reports Paul Gutierrez of CSNbayarea.com.
If the Raiders fail to win the AFC West, they’re still in play for a wild-card spot.
The Raiders would qualify for a wild card under two scenarios. First, they’d need to beat the Chargers, plus have the Bengals lose at home to Baltimore and have the Titans lose to Houston. Or, they’d advance by beating San Diego and having the Bengals lose to Baltimore while the Jets beat Miami.
So, beyond beating San Diego for a fourth consecutive time, the Raiders need help.
But at 8-7, Oakland remains alive for its first trip to the playoffs since 2002.
Perhaps the Raiders will pull out all the stops Sunday. They’ve been missing injured running back Darren McFadden and receiver Jacoby Ford. Will they return?
Bay Area News Group reporter Steve Corkran wouldn’t be surprised.
Tweeted Corkran on Christmas Eve: “Something tells me that Darren McFadden and Jacoby Ford will be healthy enough to play against the Chargers.”
With one final day of drama Sunday, the Raiders may need all the help they can get.