Little by little, the NFL playoff picture is starting to take shape, especially when it comes to the three wild card spots in each conference.
Two of them are still up for grabs, but these two teams suffered losses on Sunday that knocked them out of playoff contention.
When they needed to step up and get the job done, they were unable to.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders hosted the red-hot San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in a barnburner that was a flashback to the days when both teams were fierce rivals on opposite sides of the Bay Area.
With quarterback Jarrett Stidham taking over for the benched Derek Carr, Las Vegas led by 10 early in the third quarter, but it allowed another new starting QB – the 49ers’ Brock Purdy – to move the chains consistently.
The game went into overtime, where Stidham threw an interception that set up the game-winning field goal by San Francisco’s Robbie Gould.
Tashaun Gipson intercepts it and sets up great field position. #FTTB
— NFL (@NFL) January 2, 2023
Las Vegas has now been eliminated from playoff contention, and it was what seemed like the millionth time this season it either lost a close game or blew a sizable second-half lead.
New York Jets
When the Jets started the season 7-4, many in the Tri-State Area were already making plans to watch them make some noise in the playoffs.
But a four-game losing streak brought them into Sunday’s game at the Seattle Seahawks needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Going up against their former starting quarterback, Geno Smith, who has been putting together a breakout season, the Jets came out flat, failing to score any points after halftime and losing, 23-6.
New York has been eliminated from playoff contention, and it will head into the offseason needing to answer some burning questions, starting with what it will do about its ongoing game of musical chairs at the quarterback position.