The Las Vegas Raiders dropped to 2-6 after a 27-20 loss to the Jaguars last week, putting their season on life support. According to the NYT playoff probability checker, Las Vegas only has a 7% chance of making the postseason now. They previously stood at 14% after their loss to the Saints.
Las Vegas Raiders need a winning streak to stay in playoff contention
If the Raiders can somehow manage to defeat the Colts, the Broncos, and the Seahawks, they can climb to a 24% chance of making the playoffs. The team would also have a six percent chance of hosting a wild-card game, which could give them an advantage.
On the other hand, a loss against the Colts puts the Raiders at a 3% chance of making the playoffs and pretty much ends their season.
Should the Raiders lose to the Broncos at Mile High, they would be knocked down to a 5% chance. The next two or three games will be critical. Unfortunately for the Raiders and their fans, that’s only the beginning of the hill they have to climb.
For example, the week 13 game against the Chargers will serve as a make-or-break. If the Raiders can even the series at 1-1, they will move to a 47% chance of making the playoffs. And if the Raiders lose this key divisional matchup, they will drop to 12%.
Going back to that winning streak scenario, they can move to a 55% probability of making the playoffs if they beat the Rams. Of course, this would require a five-game winning streak, but that gives you an idea of just how razor-thin the margin has become. There is literally no room for error.
Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots will play a role in the Raiders’ playoff hopes
Another example of this is week 15 against the Patriots. Now, if the Raiders manage a victory, they would jump to a 74% chance of making the postseason. This would require a six-game win streak, though. If the Raiders drop one to Mac Jones and the Patriots, however, they fall all the way back down to 34%
Las Vegas Raiders versus Kansas City Chiefs will decide it all
What would be the worst-case scenario for the Raiders to still make it? Let’s look at how many games Las Vegas can lose and still limp into the playoffs. We’ll award the Raiders wins in their divisional games for the sake of catching up, but how many losses can they take?
After some work with the playoff probability tracker, we found the only two games The Raiders can afford to lose are against the Seahawks and the Patriots. This would put them at a 64% probability, but they would need wins against the Colts, the Broncos, and the Chiefs. It’s no secret that this winning streak would be next to impossible. It just doesn’t look good for Las Vegas Raiders fans.