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When can winning a game mean losing?

Although out of the playoffs and no chance they can win the division, the Raiders do have some things to play for on Sunday.

* Going 6-0 in the division and finish 8-8

* Costing the KC Chiefs the 3rd seed and therefore a potential road game in the divisional rounds to New England.

* Giving the Patriots a worse draft pick.

* Determining the strength of their schedule.

What? you may be asking on the last one.

The Raiders schedule for 2011 is already set except for 2 games.  Those games are determined by where a team finishes in 2010 AFC West standings.

Raiders 2011 schedule

Home: Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, New England, New York Jets, Chicago, Detroit, AFC North.
Away: Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Buffalo, Miami, Green Bay, Minnesota, AFC South

Win on Sunday and a SD loss means the Raiders would have the Steelers or Ravens come to Oakland next year and hit the road for the Jacksonville Jaguars again.  Win and a SD win or lose and the Raiders would travel to Cleveland next year and hit the road for Tennessee Titans again.

Is there a strategy here to get your schedule more preferred?

I would prefer that the Raiders schedule has the Browns on the Titans on their schedule.  With both having possible coach and/or GM changes, I see those games more winnable.

So, the best outcome for Sunday is for the Raiders to beat the Chiefs (go 8-8, go 6-0 in division, drop the Chiefs and Patriots) and have SD beat the Broncos (Raiders still finish 3rd, get Browns and Titans next year).  Because figuring out how the Raiders win in 2011 is what we as fans need to start thinking about now.

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