Raiders 2021 NFL playoff picture: Where they stand after 14 weeks, remaining games and where they must improve

Things were looking much better for the Las Vegas Raiders and their playoff hopes before Sunday around 1:06 p.m. ET. Then, Josh Jacobs fumbled on the Raiders’ first play from scrimmage and the Kansas City Chiefs returned it for six points.

It was the first score of an embarrassing 48-9 blowout that dropped the Raiders to 6-7. The 39-point loss was their second-largest loss in the Super Bowl era in franchise history. Vegas has now lost five out of its last six games, but is not technically out of the postseason race just yet. However, a win this Saturday against the Cleveland Browns is absolutely necessary. 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the Raiders’ playoff outlook by looking at their current positioning, their remaining games and a few things they will have to improve on in the coming weeks. 

Current playoff position 

The 6-7 Raiders are now last in the AFC West, and currently hold the No. 12 seed in the AFC. The teams above them still fighting for a playoff spot are the 6-6-1 Pittsburgh Steelers, the 7-6 Denver Broncos, the 7-6 Cincinnati Bengals and the 7-6 Browns. The three teams that would qualify for the playoffs as wild cards if the season were to end today are the Los Angeles Chargers (8-5), Indianapolis Colts (7-6) and Buffalo Bills (7-6). 

There is only one team below the Raiders that has a chance to make the playoffs, and that’s the 6-7 Miami Dolphins. Tua Tagovailoa and Co. had a bye this past week, but they are streaking. The Dolphins have won five straight games, and with the New York Jets and New Orleans Saints next up on the docket, it’s possible they could push that win streak to seven.

In summary, the Raiders aren’t in a good spot. Not only do they need to win several games, but they will likely need other things to work in their favor as well. Vegas needs teams like Cleveland, Cincy, Denver, Pittsburgh and Miami to lose games. 

Remaining schedule 

Here’s a…

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