The Titans made it a moot point by beating the Texans.
But the Raiders didn’t do the one thing they most needed to do to have a chance.
The Raiders lost a 16-15 decision to the Broncos, ending their own playoff chances and their history in the city of Oakland with their late fade.
They lost five of their final six games this year to finish 7-9, and now head to Las Vegas with a number of questions about the future.
Quarterback Derek Carr continued to struggle in cold weather, falling to 1-10 all-time when the temperature is below 45 degrees (it was 31 at kickoff in Denver).
Carr finally got them to end zone in the final minute (after settling for field goals all day), but his two-point conversion attempt was batted down to seal the loss.
The win was the fourth in five starts by Broncos rookie quarterback Drew Lock, who came back after recovering from a preseason thumb injury (and for some reason regaining their trust).
The Broncos (7-9) found some reasons for optimism late in the season, specifically when they finally went with Lock.
Between a quarterback with promise, and a draft class that yielded tight end Noah Fant, guard Dalton Risner, and defensive end Dre’Mont Jones, the Broncos have some things to keep them warm through a winter with no playoffs.