Yes, the Chargers surrendered 355 yards rushing to the 49ers on Saturday night. And yes, the Chargers have a few too many injuries for comfort.
Nevertheless, the Chargers’ 38-35 overtime victory at San Francisco keeps them in the thick of the wild-card race. At the moment, they are the No. 7 seed in the AFC, a half-game back of Baltimore and Pittsburgh and a half-game ahead of Kansas City and Buffalo.
Now, the Chargers wait. They are in the clubhouse, visor on table, an iced tea at their fingertips, shirt untucked. They were in some real rough against the Niners, down 21 points on two occasions, but they got it going on the back nine, and they’ve carded a good score.
Yes, their swing isn’t textbook perfect, but these Chargers know how to get up-and-down. Let’s see what the other wild-card contenders do if they get in the deep stuff.
Here’s how the AFC playoff seeding looks after Saturday night. The NFL’s standings and tiebreaking rules were cited. Also, the Week 16 playoff scenarios are herein.
THE BIG SIX
1. New England Patriots (11-3, .786). Has clinched playoff spot. AFC East winner. Seeded ahead of Denver on basis of head-to-head win.
2. Denver Broncos (11-3, .786). Has clinched playoff spot. AFC West winner.
3. Indianapolis Colts (10-4, .714). Has clinched playoff spot. AFC South winner.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4-1, .679). AFC North leader.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5, .643). Wild card No. 1. Seeded ahead of Baltimore on basis of superior AFC North record (3-2 vs. 2-3).
6. Baltimore Ravens (9-5, .643). Wild card No. 2.
7. San Diego Chargers (9-6, .600).
8. Kansas City Chiefs (8-6, .571). Seeded ahead of Bills on basis of head-to-head win.
9. Buffalo Bills (8-6, .571).
10. Houston Texans (7-7, .500). Seeded ahead of Dolphins on basis of better AFC record (6-4 vs. 6-5).
11. Miami Dolphins (7-7, .500).
Note: According to NFL.com, the Browns (7-7) have been officially knocked out of playoff contention with San Diego’s win.