Raiders beat Chargers, help Steelers

January 10, 2022
Las Vegas Raiders safety Roderic Teamer (33) celebrates after cornerback Casey Hayward, right, made an interception against the Los Angeles Chargers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Las Vegas.
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Here’s how the NFL playoff picture looks with the 2021 regular season complete:

AFC

yz – 1. Tennessee Titans (12-5), AFC South champions: Back-to-back division titlists secured AFC’s bye and home-field advantage with Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans. Week 7 defeat of Chiefs gives Titans all-important tiebreaker. Remaining schedule: TBD

y – 2. Kansas City Chiefs (12-5), AFC West champions: Pulled out a win against Denver Broncos but Texans didn’t help them with an upset Sunday. K.C. will play on wild-card weekend for first time since 2017. Remaining schedule: vs. Steelers, 8:15 p.m. ET Sunday

y – 3. Buffalo Bills (11-6), AFC East champions: They won division thanks to New England’s loss to Dolphins but also finally cleaned up after letting New York Jets hang around. Now Bills must win rubber match with Pats. Remaining schedule: vs. Patriots, 8:15 p.m. ET Saturday

y – 4. Cincinnati Bengals (10-7), AFC North champions: Division winners for first time since 2015. Now focus turns to winning first playoff game in three decades. Remaining schedule: vs. Raiders, 4:30 p.m. Saturday

x – 5. Las Vegas Raiders (10-7), wild card No. 1: They won what will likely go down as one of the most memorable games in league history to clinch just their second berth since a Super Bowl 37 appearance following the 2002 season. Goodbye, Los Angeles Chargers, hello playoffs. (The Raiders’ 5-1 record in common games with the Patriots, who were 2-4 in that tiebreaker scenario, moves Vegas to the fifth seed.) Remaining schedule: at Bengals, 4:30 p.m. Saturday

x – 6. New England Patriots (10-7), wild card No. 2: Restored to postseason after one-year, post-Tom Brady hiatus. How many times will Bill Belichick let QB Mac Jones throw in Orchard Park this time around? Remaining schedule: at Bills, 8:15 p.m. ET Saturday

x – 7. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1), wild card No. 3: In a truly bizarre day, they benefit from the Indianapolis Colts’ shocking loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Pittsburgh’s overtime win in Baltimore eliminated the Ravens and Colts and almost clinched a spot for themselves. The Raiders finished the job by sticking it to the Bolts in the final ticks of overtime. Remaining schedule: at Chiefs, 8:15 p.m. ET Sunday

NFC

yz – 1. Green Bay Packers (13-4), NFC North champions: They’re tied for league’s top record, but 9-3 NFC mark bests Bucs by a win. That performance has brought Aaron Rodgers and Co. a first-round bye and home-field advantage for second straight year. Remaining schedule: TBD

y – 2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4), NFC South champions: Despite the Antonio Brown drama over the past seven days, they’ve managed to climb back to the second seed – which potentially means at least two home playoff games. Bucs are 8-1 at Raymond James Stadium this season. Remaining schedule: vs. Eagles, 1 p.m. ET Sunday

y – 3. Dallas Cowboys (12-5), NFC East champions: Saturday’s blowout of the Eagles didn’t improve their seeding, but Rams’ loss did and allows Dallas to avoid rematch with Arizona. Remaining schedule: vs. 49ers, 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday

y – 4. Los Angeles Rams (12-5), NFC West champions: Arizona’s loss gave them division title, allowing LA to begin its quest to play Super Bowl 56 at SoFi Stadium … at SoFi Stadium. However Rams’ 8-4 NFC record dropped them below Cowboys (10-2) on seeding ladder. Remaining schedule: vs. Cardinals, 8:15 p.m. ET Jan. 17

x – 5. Arizona Cardinals (11-6), wild card No. 1: Finished 4-6 after 7-0 start but would’ve won NFC West by beating Seattle Seahawks. Nope. At least wild-card weekend will truly determine division supremacy. Remaining schedule: at Rams, 8:15 p.m. ET Jan. 17

x – 6. San Francisco 49ers (10-7), wild card No. 2: Outlasted Rams in overtime thriller to eliminate New Orleans and snag NFC’s final wild-card berth. Remaining schedule: at Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. ET Sunday

x – 7. Philadelphia Eagles (9-8), wild card No. 3: Week 11 victory over Saints (9-8) ultimately made the difference. Philly rested its key players in Saturday’s loss to Dallas, but Eagles will need all the energy they can muster as they prepare to visit Brady and reigning champs. Remaining schedule: at Buccaneers, 1 p.m. ET Sunday

x – clinched berth

y – clinched division

z – clinched first-round bye and home-field advantage

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Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.



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