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Thursday Night Football open thread: Chargers at Raiders

Can the Raiders keep themselves in the playoff race against a bad, but competitive Chargers team?

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NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders have reached a desperation point. After last week’s embarrassing 27-44 loss to the Indianapolis Colts—and subsequent firing of their defensive coordinator—Jon Gruden’s squad has no margin for error if he wants to make the playoffs. At 7-6, the Raiders currently hold the ninth seed in the conference, just a game behind the 8-5 Dolphins and Ravens, the former of which holds the final playoff spot.

Football Outsiders gives the Raiders a 15.5 percent chance to make the playoffs, which means they likely have to win out to even give themselves a chance. Luckily for them, the schedule plays heavily in their favor. With a huge game looming against the Dolphins next week, they could control their own destiny.

But they can’t look beyond this week. The Los Angeles Chargers are bad an beat up, but they certainly aren’t uncompetitive. They lost to the Chiefs by 3, the Bucs by 7, the Saints by 3, the Dolphins by 8. In fact, all but three Chargers games this season were decided by more than one score.

So can the Raiders keep their playoff hopes alive and set up a huge showdown next week? Or will they decide fate early and start planning for 2021 early?

Here’s how to watch the AFC showdown on Thursday night.

Date: Thursday, December 17, 2020
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium
TV: FOX, NFL Network
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews & Kristina Pink
Online Stream/Replay: Twitch, NFL Gamepass