Updated Raiders playoff scenarios


Updated Raiders playoff scenarios

While the Raiders' path to the playoffs has cleared a bit after this weekend's games, clinching their first postseason appearance since the 2002 season will require some help.First of all, the Raiders have to beat an already-eliminated and possibly-disinterested San Diego Chargers team Sunday in the season finale at the O.co Coliseum. Lose or tie, and the Raiders are eliminated.To win the AFC West, the Raiders must win and Denver must either lose to or tie Kansas City at home.In that scenario, the Raiders would win the division, the No. 4 seed in the AFC bracket and play host to a wild-card round playoff game, against either Pittsburgh or Baltimore.For the Raiders to claim the last wild card spot, two scenarios are in play: a Raiders win, plus a Cincinnati loss at home to Baltimore and a Tennessee loss on the road to or tie against Houston; or a Raiders win, plus a Cincinnati home loss to Baltimore and a New York Jets victory at Miami.Win the wild card, and the Raiders are the No. 6 seed and travel to Houston for a wild-card round game.In any other scenario, the Raiders are on the outside looking in on the Super Bowl tournament.The Jets and Titans each play at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday, while the Raiders, Broncos and Bengals all kick off at 1:15 p.m. PT.First things first, of course, but would you rather see the Raiders as a wild card facing the T.J. Yates-led Texans on the road, or as a division champ at home against the Steelers or Ravens?Following, then, is the updated look at the NFL's playoff picture, with one week to go:2011 NFL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS FOR WEEK 17AFCCLINCHED:New England Patriots -- East Division and a first-round bye.Houston Texans -- South Division. Baltimore Ravens -- wild card spot.
Pittsburgh Steelers -- wild card spot.OAKLAND RAIDERSOakland clinches AFC West Division: 1) OAK win DEN loss or tie 2) OAK tie DEN loss Oakland clinches a wild card spot:
1) OAK win CIN loss TEN loss or tie
2) OAK win CIN loss NYJ winNEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs:
1) NE win or tie 2) BAL loss or tie PIT loss or tieBALTIMORE RAVENSBaltimore clinches AFC North Division and a first-round bye:
1) BAL win 2) BAL tie PIT loss or tie 3) PIT loss
Baltimore clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs: 1) BAL win NE lossPITTSBURGH STEELERSPittsburgh clinches AFC North Division and a first-round bye:
1) PIT win BAL loss or tie
2) PIT tie BAL loss
Pittsburgh clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs: 1) PIT win BAL loss or tie NE lossDENVER BRONCOS Denver clinches AFC West Division: 1) DEN win 2) DEN tie OAK loss or tie 3) OAK lossCINCINNATI BENGALS
Cincinnati clinches a wild card spot:
1) CIN win or tie 2) NYJ loss or tie OAK loss or tie
3) NYJ loss or tie DEN loss or tieNEW YORK JETS
NY Jets clinch a wild card spot:
1) NYJ win CIN loss TEN loss or tie OAK loss or tie
2) NYJ win CIN loss TEN loss or tie DEN loss or tieTENNESSEE TITANS
Tennessee clinches a wild card spot: 1) TEN win CIN loss NYJ win OAK loss or tie 2) TEN win CIN loss NYJ win DEN loss or tie 3) TEN win CIN loss NYJ loss or tie OAK win DEN win NFC CLINCHED: Green Bay Packers -- North Division and home-field advantage throughout NFC playoffs.San Francisco 49ers -- West Division.New Orleans Saints -- wild card spot.Detroit Lions -- wild card spot. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERSSan Francisco clinches a first-round bye:1) SF win2) SF tie one NO loss or tie3) one NO lossNEW ORLEANS SAINTS New Orleans clinches NFC South Division:
1) one NO win or tie
2) one ATL loss or tie
New Orleans clinches a first-round bye:
1) two NO wins SF loss or tie
2) one NO win one NO tie SF loss NEW YORK GIANTS
NY Giants clinch NFC East Division: 1) NYG win or tieDALLAS COWBOYS
Dallas clinches NFC East Division: 1) DAL win ATLANTA FALCONS Atlanta clinches NFC South Division: 1) two ATL wins two NO losses
Atlanta clinches a wild card spot:
1) one ATL win or tie
2) one CHI loss or tie

Injury report: Joseph out, Latham questionable for Raiders vs Chiefs

Injury report: Joseph out, Latham questionable for Raiders vs Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Raiders safety Karl Joseph hurt his toe in Sunday’s victory over Buffalo, and was still in pain early the next week.

That gave him virtually no shot to play Kansas City on Thursday night with a short week to recover. The Raiders made his omission official on Wednesday, and ruled the first-round pick out of the AFC West clash at Arrowhead Stadium on their official injury report.

Veteran Nate Allen will take his place in the starting lineup. He played well in Joseph’s stead against the Bills, and has the versatility to play back or closer to the line of scrimmage as Joseph did.

The Raiders defense is still ailing on the interior, with defensive tackle Stacy McGee (ankle) ruled out of his second straight contest.

There is slightly better news for Darius Latham, who was deemed questionable after missing two light practices but returning in time for limited work on Wednesday. Getting him back would help a thinned rotation that heavily features Denico Autry, Dan Williams and Jihad Ward, who has struggled some of late.

The Chiefs have a healthy team despite the short week. Receiver Jeremy Maclin will return from a groin injury. Edge rusher Tamba Hali will play despite limted practice work, and defensive tackle Dontari Poe is questionable with a back issue.

Raiders Status Report

LB Shilique Calhoun (knee), S Karl Joseph (toe), DT Stacy McGee (ankle) Questionable
DT Darius Latham (ankle), LG Kelechi Osemele (knee), LB Cory James (shoulder)

Chiefs Status Report

DT Dontari Poe (back), DE Kendall Reyes (knee)

NOTE: Kansas City’s WR Jeremy Maclin, OLB Tamba Hali and CB Phillip Gaines did not receive an injury designation, meaning they will play.


Mack, Irvin feed off each other, form dynamic duo in Raiders pass rush

Mack, Irvin feed off each other, form dynamic duo in Raiders pass rush

The Buffalo Bills were running right through the Oakland Raiders early in Sunday’s contest, a never-ending assault that took its toll on defenders in silver and black.

That was the case for the most optimistic, steadfast member of that unit.

“We were giving up big plays, and I was frustrated,” star edge rusher Khalil Mack said. “Actually, I was pissed off.”

Bruce Irvin sensed a disturbance in the force. The veteran pass rusher knew how to fix it.  A little pep talk would get Mack going again.

“We feed off each other’s energy. … That dude pulls me up. I was feeling a little down towards the middle of the game, and he was like, ‘Come on. We need you. Come on. Let’s go. He pulled me up and kept pushing.”

That wasn’t the turning point in yet another comeback win. It wasn’t the only reason why defense locked Buffalo down during a run of 29 unanswered points.

It showed how strong a friendship Mack and Irvin have formed since the spring, one that helps get the best out of the other. Bonds formed from insatiable work ethic, one evident even in the offseason program.

“We’re both so hungry to be great that it just brought us together,” Irvin said. “When I got here, we talked right away. Khalil and (quarterback Derek Carr) were the first two guys I sat down with, and I told them I was coming over to play with Khalil, to help turn this thing around and become one of the top units in the league. Khalil and I just bonded quickly, and it was like we had been friends forever. It’s like whole thing was meant to be.”

It has turned out to be a productive pairing. There are 15 sacks, 94 other quarterback pressures and eight forced fumbles between Irvin and Mack this season.

Mack has the bulk of those numbers, especially during a second-half run where he has been outright dominant and jumped into the conversation for defensive player of the year. Mack has been involved in four turnovers the last two games, including game-sealing strip sacks while recovering his own fumble in consecutive weeks.

“You all don’t want to talk to Robin,” Irvin quipped. “Batman’s right over there.”

Irvin has used that line after two home victories in a row. The fifth-year pro is more than Mack’s sidekick. He’s on a roll himself, with sacks in three straight games. He uses speed and agility to create pressure off the strongside edge, dealing with left tackles on a consistent basis.

“I’m in a good groove right now,” Irvin said. “Mentality, physically, I’m in a very good place right now. It’s really showing on the field these past couple weeks.”

Irvin has been a productive defender either making plays on his side or driving traffic back towards Mack. It works both ways, with Mack drawing significant attention that often leaves Irvin in more favorable matchups.

The combination has been impactful, especially on a defense that doesn’t’ get pressure from other sources. They’ve been productive in the clutch as well, with six sacks coming in the fourth quarter. Mack has big plays the last two weeks, and Irvin has a big sack late in a victory over Houston in Mexico City.

The Raiders defense is improving, and having Irvin rushing strong recently helps Mack and the entire Raiders defense.

“He’s always been in a good groove, but there are things going well for this defense,” Mack said. “I’m on the other side, and you have coverage going well. (Opponents) try to do all the chipping and those things that play a factor in doing what we do. The fact that he’s rolling right now is not a surprise.”