Updated Raiders playoff scenarios

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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

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

PHOENIX – Fans won’t see special teams players leaping over the long snapper in an attempt to block a field goal or extra point. Seattle’s Kam Chancellor made some big plays with that technique, but won’t have the chance anymore.

The NFL outlawed that option on Tuesday as one several rule changes enacted at the league meetings.

“There are some safety concerns,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “that are legitimate.”

The NFL also centralized replay reviews, taking that power away from officials on the field. NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino and associates at the NFL’s command center will handle reviews in an effort to add consistency to important calls.

Del Rio hoped replay challenges would be expanded further, but a proposal by Seattle and Buffalo allowing coaches to challenge any play save scoring plays and turnovers, which are automatically reviewed, did not pass.

“I think there are a number of coaches who feel like, if there’s an obvious error, we should have a mechanism to correct it,” Del Rio said. “We catch most of them, so you’re talking about a small percentage. It’s hard to move the needle for such a small percentage. That’s the problem. The fact is, if it’s important enough that we’re willing to use that challenge, we’d like that right and ability. Things happen, and you don’t want to lose a big game, a game that decides whether you advance in the playoffs or make the playoffs and it’s something you could overturn, that you could challenge or change. Why not?”

Here's a list of new rules and bylaws adopted by the league on Tuesday.

Derek Carr to be ready for Raiders offseason activities: 'He's fired up'

Derek Carr to be ready for Raiders offseason activities: 'He's fired up'

PHOENIX – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s rehab from a broken fibula has been smooth and steady. He had surgery to repair a bone broken in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, an injury that essentially killed hopes of a Raiders division, conference or league championship.

Carr’s return to health progressed through the winter, leaving him ready to start playing football again soon.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said at this week’s NFL owners meetings that Carr should be a full participant in offseason activities. The offseason program begins April 17, with a few weeks of strength and conditioning.

The first set of OTAs starts on May 22, and Carr is expected to participate fully in those workouts. There are 12 OTAs followed by a three-day mandatory minicamp that ends June 15.

Barring a setback, the Raiders won’t pull the reins on Carr’s participation during that stretch.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to take it easy,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s fired up. I got to see him working out with the trainers last week before we came down (to Phoenix). He’s doing well. I think he’s really excited about where it is and how the rehab is going. We expect to have him for all the OTAs and everything.”