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Chargers, Ravens, Dolphins jockeying for one playoff berth

Chargers Broncos Football AP

San Diego’s unlikely win over the Broncos on Thursday night throws a wrench in the two-team race between the Ravens and Dolphins for the sixth playoff spot in the AFC.

The upset puts one berth in play for the three contenders, with a plausible path for each of them to get the sixth and final spot in the AFC postseason field.  Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald explains that the San Diego victory potentially helps — and potentially hurts — the hometown Dolphins.

Since Miami lost to the Ravens and beat the Chargers, Miami loses a two-team tiebreaker to the Ravens and wins a two-team tiebreaker over San Diego.  The Chargers’ presence in a three-team tie with the Ravens and Dolphins could still give Miami the No. 6 seed.

Let’s assume the Dolphins (who play the Patriots, Bills, and Jets) and Ravens (who play the Lions, Patriots, and Bengals) win two of their final three games and the Chargers win in Week 16 and 17 (at home against the Raiders and Chiefs).  As Jackson breaks it down, if Baltimore’s loss comes against the Patriots or Bengals, the Dolphins would win the three-way tie based on conference record.

If the Ravens beat the Patriots and Bengals, Baltimore would emerge as the playoff team, based on the Chargers dropping out of the three-team race based on having the worst conference record, and the Ravens advancing on the head-to-head win over Miami.

If each of the three teams is one game worse, with the Dolphins and Ravens finishing 1-2 and the Chargers splitting their last two games, Miami wins the three-team tiebreaker only if the Ravens lose both to the Patriots and Bengals.  If Baltimore beats either New England or Cincinnati, Baltimore gets the berth.

For the Chargers, the analysis is far simpler:  Finish with a better record than either Miami or Baltimore.  It happens if San Diego holds serve at home against Oakland and Kansas City, and if the Ravens and Dolphins each lose at least two of their final three games.

While that may seem unrealistic, it’s not nearly as unrealistic as San Diego rolling in to Denver and holding Peyton Manning to 20 points.

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5 Responses to “Chargers, Ravens, Dolphins jockeying for one playoff berth”
  1. jmblosser82 says: Dec 14, 2013 11:28 PM

    Let’s go chargers

  2. raiderapologist says: Dec 15, 2013 1:04 AM

    Ravens, Dolphins, Chargers. One of these things is not like the others.

  3. hyperalgesia says: Dec 15, 2013 3:39 AM

    Is there a more FUN qb to watch than Rivers? He is a hot head, throws a shot put every now and then and has a cannon arm.
    We love him here is SD.
    Oh, and the disdain he has for Manning on the field is classic!

  4. anicra says: Dec 15, 2013 3:51 AM

    Imagine if Ravens/Dolphins/Chargers/Jets and Jaguars all end up at 7 wins. The tie breaker goes to … you guessed it Jacksonville.

    On the other hand, if the Ravens, Dolphins and Chiefs are tied at 10-6 …Chiefs will be the ones going home.

    Who isnt hoping for the strange and weird scenarios?

  5. ravenrich333 says: Dec 15, 2013 12:17 PM

    That is some good stuff! There is actually a han e that K.C. wins tbeir division. Also a hance that Baltimore wins their division. Also a chance that the Bengals and/or Chiefs do not make the playoffs at all. I THINK there is still a scenario where the Patsies end up the wild card #6 seed. Crazy stuff.

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