For most of this season, the Raiders have been in the middle of the AFC playoff race. But they are in danger of falling out of the battle.
If the Raiders lose to the Chargers tonight, their chances of making the playoffs would be close to zero.
A loss tonight would cut the Raiders to 7-7, putting them 2.5 games behind the Browns and Colts in the wild card race, 1.5 games behind the Dolphins for the final wild card, and 1.5 games behind the Ravens. that are currently. chasing the dolphins in the wild card tiebreaker.
At that point, even winning their last two games (against the Dolphins and Broncos) and a 9-7 finish probably wouldn’t be enough to put the Raiders in the post-season. At that point, the Raiders would need a lot of help in the form of losses from the dolphins and ravens. And the Raiders would also lose a tiebreaker to the Patriots if both teams finished 9-7.
So for the Raiders, consider a game you must win tonight.