Take a ride on the playoff machine

One of the coolest ESPN.com features I’ve seen the site launch is back.

Last year, the NFL playoff machine was launched. It was a huge success –- and a huge help. You can figure out every playoff scenario on a week-to-week basis.

Thus, all of your scenarios and tie-breakers can be answered with a click of a button. It’s a must after every NFL week down the stretch.

You can now start the playoff projections for each AFC West team -- a total of two games separates all four teams -- as this year’s version of the playoff machine has been launched.

Meanwhile, our Insider playoff predictor this week shows the Raiders have strengthened their chances of making the postseason for the first time since 2002. Oakland, 6-4, has a 60 percent chance of making the playoffs with six games to go. If the Raiders can beat the Jay Cutler-less Bears on Sunday, their chances will increase.