The Las Vegas Raiders very much could have saved their season in beating the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving in overtime, punctuated by a game-winning Daniel Carlson field goal.
At 6-5, they're back over .500 and remain in the race for the AFC West crown, although they'll need to make up important ground the rest of the season.
The Raiders will have that chance over the final six games, as they will face the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Chargers, all for the final time this season.
The AFC wild-card race will be impacted heavily as well, with the Raiders facing two teams with identical records to their own in the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts.
In fact, the only team under .500 that the Raiders will face in this closing stretch will be their next opponent, the Washington Football Team, which has risen to 4-6 after winning their last two games.
It puts into perspective how the Raiders won't be able to expect any breaks into trying to get back into the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
None of those teams project to be a cakewalk for the Raiders, as even Washington could enter next week having won three straight games.
The effort and urgency they showed against Dallas has to be there constantly for their remaining stretch.
They can't afford to take anyone team lightly, as another stretch of multiple losses will likely eliminate themselves from the playoff field.
Survive, though, and the Raiders could be in a position where they have important tie-breaker advantages over fellow AFC contenders.
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