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

Injury report: Raiders interior D-line ailing; Amerson says he's ready

Injury report: Raiders interior D-line ailing; Amerson says he's ready

ALAMEDA – The Raiders interior defensive line is ailing, with tackles Darius Latham and Stacy McGee ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

They were formally designated unavailable Friday on the team’s official injury report.

The timing isn’t great from a Raiders perspective. They’re facing the NFL’s best rushing attack, and will need others to play more snaps and stop Buffalo’s run game effectively.

Dan Williams and Justin Ellis are effective run stoppers and must carry an increased workload. Jihad Ward and Denico Autry will also work extensively in the middle.

While a significant hamstring injury will forced the Raiders to place DJ Hayden on injured reserve, David Amerson expects to be back after missing last game with a knee injury.

He was limited in practice all week and is considered questionable, but feels good enough to go.

“I feel good, man,” Amerson said. “I'm ready to get back out there and compete.”

They’ll need him and Sean Smith to anchor on the outside, with TJ Carrie now stepping into the slot role.

The Raiders will also be without reserve edge rusher Shilique Calhoun, out a second game after having a procedure on his knee.

Starting interior linebackers Perry Riley and Malcolm Smith are considered questionable with hamstring strains.

Quarterback Derek Carr was a full participant every practice this week and was taken off the injury report. He threw a second straight day without a glove.

Bills head coach Rex Ryan said receiver Sammy Watkins will play on Sunday against the Raiders despite a broken foot. Local reporters have suggested his snap count may be down.

Buffalo will miss cornerback Ronald Darby and receivers Percy Harvin and Robert Woods, who were ruled out with injury.

Bills Injury Report
Out

WR Robert Woods (knee), CB Ronald Darby (concussion), WR Percy Harvin (illness)
Questionable
OLB Lorenzo Alexander (ankle), OT Cordy Glenn (back), S James Ihedigbo (ankle), WR Sammy Watkins (foot), TE Charles Clay (knee), G Richie Incognito (neck), DT Marcell Dareus (abdominal), RB Mike Gillislee (hamstring), S Sergio Brown (wrist), G John Miller (shoulder), WR Marquise Goodwin (wrist)

Raiders Injury Report
Out
LB Shilique Calhoun (knee), DT Stacy McGee (ankle), DT Darius Latham (ankle)
Questionable
CB David Amerson (knee), WR Michael Crabtree (ankle), C Rodney Hudson (knee), RB Latavius Murray (ankle), OL Kelechi Osemele (knee), LB Perry Riley Jr. (hamstring), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring)

Raiders to place DJ Hayden on injured reserve: 'A big blow'

Raiders to place DJ Hayden on injured reserve: 'A big blow'

ALAMEDA – Raiders cornerback DJ Hayden was a productive member of the Raiders secondary this season. He found a role in the slot and filled it well, playing with aggressiveness and confidence as the team’s third corner.

This was a positive step after injuries and effectiveness plagued the 2013 first round pick early in his NFL tenure. During Sunday’s victory over Carolina, his career took another cruel twist.

He got tangled up with receiver Kelvin Benjamin early in the fourth quarter, landed awkwardly and suffered a hamstring injury that ended his season early.

The Raiders will place Hayden on injured reserve before their home game against Buffalo, head coach Jack Del Rio announced on Friday afternoon.

"He has a substantial hamstring injury, and won’t be returning this year for us,” Del Rio said. “That was a big blow. It’s unfortunate. He was playing well.”

Hayden has played his last down of the season. He might’ve played his last down as a Raider as well. He was not offered a fifth-year team option afforded to first-round picks, and is set to be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

The Raiders locked up David Amerson and Sean Smith to long-term contracts this offseason.

If Hayden walks, it would mark a disappointing end for Reggie McKenzie’s initial first-round pick. Hayden battled with injuries early in his career. He was drafted No. 12 overall despite having a heart issue stemming from a practice incident at the University of Houston. He played eight games as a rookie and landed on IR with a groin strain.

Hayden missed the first six games of 2016 with a foot issue, but rebounded well and played 37 consecutive games before hurting his hamstring against Carolina.

“It's tough,” Amerson said. “It's the way the league goes, man. It sucks individually for DJ and for us as a DB unit because he was an important piece.”

TJ Carrie will become the Raiders’ slot cornerback, a position he held as a rookie. He started 14 games last season, but has taken a backseat with Amerson and Smith established on the outside.

“He’s been a pro all year,” Del Rio said. “He’s really been good for us. He played a lot bigger role last year, and has been prepared at all times to go in. We have a lot of confidence in TJ.”

Carrie has stepped in a lot lately, with Smith and Amerson missing time with injury in November. Rookie Antonio Hamilton now sits behind him as the No. 4 cornerback.