Week 18 of the NFL season always makes for some memorable games and storylines. Though weird things happen on a yearly basis, you’d be hard pressed to find something as strange as one possibility for the season’s final game between the Chargers and Raiders.
In tonight’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders (9-7) and the Los Angeles Chargers (9-7), both teams could potentially clinch the final two AFC wild card spots if the game ends in a tie.
Earlier today, the Indianapolis Colts lost a shocker to the bottom-dwelling Jacksonville Jaguars, which opened the door for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers beat the Ravens in overtime, presumably clinching the final wild card spot with a record of 9-7-1. With the Colts’ loss and the Steelers’ win, the winner of the Raiders-Chargers game would clinch the 6th wild card slot with a record of 10-7. However, a tie in tonight’s game would put the Chargers, Raiders, and Steelers with records of 9-7-1.
Earlier this season, Pittsburgh lost to both Vegas and LA, so the Steelers would miss out due to their head-to-head losses to each of those teams.
One has to expect that the Raiders-Chargers heated rivalry would ensure that each team would want to send the other team home for the playoffs. However, imagine a scenario where the Raiders and Chargers decided to tie on purpose. It would be quite the scandal!
The Raiders and Chargers meet tonight in Vegas at 8:20 eastern on NBC. DraftKings Sportsbook has the game ending in a draw priced at +1400.