The (7-2) Oakland Raiders are “hosting” the (6-3) Houston Texans in Mexico City. The winner will be in line to receive a bye week in the playoffs, along with the (8-2) New England Patriots. Kickoff is at 8:30 PM EST on ESPN.
A Raiders victory would move them to 8-2, a 6-1 conference record, and a tie with the Patriots. The Texans game is their only common game through week 11, meaning the seeding would default to the 4th tiebreaker: strength of victory. The Raiders hold the edge over the Patriots and would be the #1 seed.
The Patriots would love to see the Texans win for a handful of reasons. 1) The Patriots hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Texans and would grant more breathing room; 2) the Raiders are a more difficult match-up for the Patriots and it would be helpful if they had to play during wild card week; 3) the AFC West would be a three-way tie at 7-3; and 4) the Patriots clearly want to be the #1 seed.
Use this as the open thread for discussion.