Playoff seeding is vital for both teams
Kansas City will still hold as the AFC West leaders despite the outcome, but the race becomes a lot closer with a loss. For Las Vegas, a loss on Sunday night could jeopardize their playoff seeding.
As it stands right now, the Chiefs are currently the second seed in the AFC at 8-1, and the Raiders are sitting at the fifth seed with a 6-3 record. With the adjusted playoff bracket in 2020, allowing seven teams from each conference to make the playoffs, Kansas City currently would have to play in the Wild Card round with only one team getting a bye week. The Pittsburgh Steelers are at the top with a 9-0 record.
Chasing that post-season bye week has proven harder this season, with only one team getting a bye week. If the Chiefs want a shot at that bye week, winning this weekend’s game is vital. With tough opponents in the second half of the season, including the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and surprisingly the Miami Dolphins, getting a win in Las Vegas will help if the team falls to one of those teams.
Pittsburgh’s remaining schedule is a mixture of playoff contenders and teams looking at a top ten draft selection come April. The Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, and Indianapolis Colts are likely circled on the Steelers’ calendar. Throw in the Cleveland Browns if you feel optimistic about them playing consistently good football.
The Raiders are one of seven teams sitting in the AFC with three losses on their record. Two of those teams are in the hunt for a playoff seeding. Following the game against Kansas City this weekend, their remaining schedule looks lighter on the back end. Outside of the Colts and Dolphins, their remaining opponents have a combined eight wins in 2020.