Imagine entering an annual workplace competition to determine the finalists for a coveted award. Everyone wants this award. People have cheated, stabbed and played dirty in the past to win this award. Is fantastic. As the time frame for determining who will be the finalists approaches, you notice a loophole in the competition rules that would allow you and another colleague to both be finalists.
Would you do the dirty shot to win the prize? It is a moral dilemma that even Aristotle would be forced to reflect on. Well, guess what? If the Colts lose to the Jaguars this Sunday, the Raiders and Chargers will find themselves in exactly this scenario.
Basically, if the Colts lose, the Chargers-Raiders winner is in the playoffs. However, if both teams draw … then both the Chargers and the Raiders enter the playoffs. Also, the Colts play at 1pm ET. The Raiders and Chargers play at 8.20pm ET. Essentially, both teams would know whether or not this situation would occur hours before playing. This would give both teams plenty of time to discuss the details, come up with a plan and swear they will kneel the ball in every single play for 70 minutes.
Now, I know what you are thinking. “There’s no way the NFL is going to let that happen, right?”
I mean, sure, they could fine both teams for damaging the integrity of the sport, but what will they do mid-game? Call me Wild buffalo wings and get a sprinkler to slowly push the ball down the court in the in-goal? Zero chance. This is not happening.
“OK, but definitely the players involved won’t want to get involved in something ‘bush league’ like this.”
Truly? The NFL has a system in place that gives players $ 19,000 for losing a playoff game. If they win, their bonuses go up dramatically. There are incentives in place for players who want to reach the playoffs, and even comes with the opportunity to play for a Super Bowl. Would you really be willing to give that cash bonus and championship opportunity for the integrity of a single regular season match?
Even though the NFL fines every player, the actual fine for unsportsmanlike conduct it’s just $ 12,875 for first time offenders and $ 18,025 for second time offenders, both of which are less than the bonuses players would receive for the playoffs.
“Well. Well, the Chargers and the Raiders are division rivals. They probably don’t want to see each other make it to the playoffs at all.”
Am I though? I would argue that the relationship between the Marauders and the Chargers is one of mutual respect rather than contempt. If you google “biggest raider rivals” right now. He pretty much agrees that the team’s biggest rival is Denver or Kansas City, followed in a distant third by the Chargers. There are even some who believe that Steelers, Patriots and 49ers will be the biggest rivals to the Raiders than the Chargers are.
Now, the Chargers are a different story. The Raiders are clearly their biggest rival, but it’s not a major rivalry that shapes the NFL landscape. If nothing else, the Chargers should see a little bit of themselves in the Raiders, a team that has struggled to stay relevant in recent years and has been forced to leave their hometown for a bigger market, and have not really been around. height of the hype. Having common ground on which to come together and reaching the playoffs should be a goal that both teams can agree on, even if it means that the Raiders must face the Chiefs in the wild card round.
“OK, but the Colts can’t possibly lose to the Jaguars, so it’s just a pipe dream.”
Well, I’d hate to tell you, but the Colts I haven’t won a game in Jacksonville since 2014. The Jags have the number of the Colts when they play in Florida. Yes, the circumstances are different this time. The Colts are in a “win and win” situation. They could throw a 50 bomb on Jaguars just to make sure they go away with the dubbing. However, Jacksonville gave Indy a run for their money in their … first meeting of the year and the Jaguars have the story. There is a reason why the Jaguars feel confident in their ability to win, but perhaps they don’t want to win in order to secure the overall first pick. This is also an option.
What makes this situation even crazier is that the Chargers and the Raiders play prime time Sunday Night Football. They play the last game of the regular season. Millions of people are likely to watch. So, imagine how awesome it would be to see both teams give a huge middle finger to the whole world as they approach the playoffs hand-in-hand. It will most likely not happen. Players have too much “self-respect” and “dignity” to get involved in something as childish as this, but man, that would rather be the talking point as the NFL playoffs unfolded.