The San Diego Chargers shocked the NFL again last week by defeating the Denver Broncos 27-20 at home. This brings the team to a 7-7 overall record and only one game behind the Baltimore Ravens, who currently have the last wildcard spot. This victory gives the Chargers a chance to make the playoffs, albeit a very slim chance. The team needs six games to have certain results in order to sneak into the playoffs. Here is a breakdown of what needs to happen.
San Diego Chargers over the Oakland Raiders
It goes without saying the Chargers need to win the rest of their games to go to the playoffs. This game shouldn’t be a major issue as the Oakland team has struggled all season and San Diego is coming off of a big win.
Buffalo Bills over the Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are one game ahead of San Diego along with the Ravens. A loss to the Bills would put the team’s record equal to that of the Bolts. Unfortunately for the Chargers, starting quarterback E.J. Manuel of the Bills will not play on Sunday. In order to win this game, the Buffalo defensive line needs to cause havoc for the struggling O-line in Miami.
UPDATE: Check it off the list
New England Patriots over Baltimore Ravens
Although most non-Patriot fans love to see them lose, Charger fans should really root for Tom Brady this week. The Baltimore offense is nowhere near the level of play they should be at, so if the Patriots can put up some points, they should be able to win.
UPDATE: The Pats indeed won, giving the Chargers a shot going into week 17.
San Diego Chargers over the Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are one of the best teams in the NFL because of their excellent defense. On the other hand, their offense relies on Jamaal Charles almost exclusively. If the Chargers can stop the run, and Philip Rivers plays about the same as he has all season they can win. If the Chargers are still in the playoff hunt by this game, the team will be extremely pumped and have a huge momentum advantage.
Cincinnati Bengals over the Baltimore Ravens
Even if the Chargers have the same record as the Ravens or the Dolphins, they will lose in a tiebreaker. This means that the Chargers need to have a better record than both teams to make the playoffs. Fortunately, the Bengals are a playoff team that has proven themselves better than the Ravens this season. The Bengals should win, but it is no guarantee.
New York Jets over the Miami Dolphins
This game could become the Achilles Heel for the Bolts. They need the Dolphins to lose (or tie) this game, and the problem is that the Jets are terrible. Since the Dolphins will have everything to lose and the Jets will have nothing to gain, there is no reason to expect the team to come out fired up.
The Chargers only make the playoffs if all six games listed above happen as described. While the road is possible, it is very unlikely that the Bolts squeeze into the last playoff spot. All they can do now is play their best and hope the pieces fall into place.