nfl playoffs

If The Playoffs Started Today: The Raiders Might Be For Real Edition

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) celebrates a TD as the New York Jets face the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, November 1, 2015.

As Pittsburgh’s once vaunted offense crumbles under the pressure of injuries, a new contender has emerged in the playoff picture.

THE OAKLAND RAIDERS.

Let me repeat that again.

THE OAKLAND RAIDERS.

In case you didn’t read that properly the second time…

THE OAKLAND RAIDERS.

Yes, it’s the same Raiders that haven’t appeared in the postseason since they were firebombed in Super Bowl XXXVII.

That’s correct. The Raiders haven’t played in a postseason game since January 2003.

To put that in perspective, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning had not yet met in a playoff game.

We can only hope this holds but if the NFL teaches us anything, it’s that happiness is extremely fleeting.

AFC

#1 – Denver Broncos  (AFC West champion, bye)

#2 – New England Patriots (AFC East champion, bye)

#3 – Cincinnati Bengals (AFC North champion)

#4 – Indianapolis Colts (AFC South champion)

#5  – Oakland Raiders (Wild Card)

#6 –  New York Jets (Wild Card)

NFC

#1 –  Carolina Panthers  (NFC South champion, bye)

#2 – Green Bay Packers (NFC North champion, bye)

#3 – Arizona Cardinals (NFC West champion)

#4 – New York Giants (NFC East champion)

#5 – Atlanta Falcons (Wild Card)

#6 – Minnesota Vikings (Wild Card)

PROPOSED, FICTIONAL TV SCHEDULE

WILD CARD ROUND:

SATURDAY, JANUARY 9 @ 4:30PM – #6 New York Jets at #3 Cincinnati Bengals (NBC)

SATURDAY, JANUARY 9 @ 8:00PM – #5 Atlanta Falcons at #4 New York Giants (NBC)

SUNDAY, JANUARY 10 @ 1:00PM – #5 Oakland Raiders at #4 Indianapolis Colts (CBS)

SUNDAY, JANUARY 10 @ 4:30PM – #6 Minnesota Vikings at #3 Arizona Cardinals  (FOX)

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF ROUND:

SATURDAY, JANUARY 16 @ 4:30PM – IND/OAK/NYJ at #1 Denver (NBC)

SATURDAY, JANUARY 16 @ 8PM – ARI/NYG/ATL at #2 Green Bay (FOX)

SUNDAY, JANUARY 17 @ 1PM – NYG/ATL/MIN at #1 Carolina (FOX)

SUNDAY, JANUARY 17 @ 4:30PM – CIN/IND/OAK at #2 New England (CBS)

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