Musburger: Raiders' playoff drama starts early with Chargers-Chiefs

By Brent Musburger  (VSiN managing editor) 

December 26, 2019 11:49 AM
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Derek Carr’s future with Jon Gruden may be tied more to the weather than he would like to admit.
© Imagn

There’s one little glitch in the NFL’s Week 17 schedule that may impact the Raiders’ four-team playoff parlay.

To continue playing next week, the Raiders must beat Denver while three other teams also win – the Texans over the Titans, the Ravens over the Steelers and the Colts over the Jaguars.

All four of those games kick off in the 1:25 p.m. PST window so that none of the teams gain an advantage because of an earlier decision. This allows the networks to continue promoting the drama, which is good for the NFL’s business.

For some reason, the league allowed CBS to broadcast the Chargers-Chiefs game in the earlier window, and that outcome may alter the Texans’ approach against the Titans. Remember, the simplest outcome to the battle for the final AFC playoff spot is for the Titans to win. That ends the dream for the Raiders and the Steelers.

Enter Texans coach Bill O’Brien. His team is currently the No. 4 seed, and its only chance of moving up is for the Chargers to upset the Chiefs. He has said that his regulars will play, but for how long is directly tied to that earlier result. At No. 4, the Texans would be locked into a playoff game against Buffalo.

Without the possibility of moving up in the seeding to avoid the Bills’ rugged defense, it is not likely that Deshaun Watson and the rest of the Texans’ key players will see much action against the Titans.

Cashin’ tickets

Last week’s amazing, five-team parlay keeping the Raiders’ playoff hopes alive returned

$497.80 on a $20 bet at Circa. This week’s four-team dream parlay – Raiders 155, Texans 155,

Ravens 107 and Colts –185 – pays $394.72 on the same $20 bet.

Weather watch

Derek Carr’s future with Jon Gruden may be tied more to the weather than he would like to admit.

When the temperature dips his numbers aren’t good. His lone win below 45 degrees came back in 2015 at Denver. The forecast for Sunday is sunny skies but a high in the 30s. And as the Las Vegas Raiders, they will still have to deal with future December games in Denver and Kansas City.

Lock him up

Studying tape of Bronco rookie QB Drew Lock should put the Raider “D” on high alert. I covered Lock when he played at Missouri against SEC defenses. An outstanding high-school basketball player, Lock was forced to start as a freshman when the Mizzou starter encountered problems off the field. Lock is a mobile quarterback who attacks the entire field.

Geaux, Tigers

Back on Dec. 2, I bought a $200 ticket at the South Point  on LSU at 300 to win the college championship on Jan. 13. Step 1 is Saturday against Oklahoma at Atlanta.

On my College Bowl Jackpot Card there I bet two $5 entries — one with Clemson in the second semifinal and one with Ohio State.

 

Nothing makes for a happier new year than cashin’ tickets, because whether it’s 2019 or 2020, that’s what it’s all about!

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