The Chargers are not out of the AFC wild card race. But they need everything to go their way in the final two weeks of the season.
As detailed by Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego, there are six games remaining that can affect the Chargers’ playoff chances, and the Chargers only get to the postseason if all six of those games go the right way for San Diego.
First, the Chargers have to win both of their remaining games, both at home, this week against the Raiders and next week against the Chiefs.
The Chargers also need the Ravens to lose both of their remaining games, this week against the Patriots and next week at Cincinnati. And the Chargers need the Dolphins to lose both of their remaining games, this week at Buffalo and next week against the Jets.
How likely is that to happen? The Chargers are favorites at home against the Raiders this week, and they won at Kansas City last month, so it’s certainly not unreasonable to think they’d also beat the Chiefs at home — especially considering that the Chiefs may be locked into the No. 5 seed and would therefore have nothing to play for. So the Chargers taking care of their own business is a good possibility.
Unfortunately for the Chargers, it’s a lot less likely that they’ll get the help they need. Both the Ravens and the Dolphins are favored this week, and the Dolphins will be favored at home against the Jets in Week 17 as well. (The Ravens will likely be underdogs at Cincinnati in Week 17.) So the Chargers can’t feel good about their chances.
San Diego has played well recently and would be a dangerous team in the AFC playoffs. Almost all of the Chargers’ losses have been close games that easily could have gone the other way, but they got a few bad breaks at some very bad times. Now the Chargers need to catch a lot of good breaks.