Chargers’ Path to Playoffs: Opportunity Diminishing Rapidly

Credit: USA Today Sports
Credit: USA Today Sports

Prior to week 10, I wrote how the Chargers would need to win almost all of their remaining games to make it to the playoffs.

Now, after losing at home to the Dolphins, they must win all of their remaining games to possibly see a shot at making it to the playoffs. Even then, the chances are very minimal. With a Bye Week in Week 11, the Chargers will try to regroup.

What Happened in Week 10

The Chiefs (7-2)  and Broncos (7-3) both pulled wins out of thin air. Currently, all teams in the AFC West (Raiders 7-2) have seven wins except for the Chargers (4-6). The Ravens (5-4) walked all over the Browns to give them a two-game advantage over the Steelers (4-5), who lost to the Cowboys at home on a heartbreaking last drive by Dallas. This situation helps the Chargers out since they, too, lost this week. However, the Texans snuck a win past the Jaguars to put them at 6-3, and the Titans, of all teams, wiped the Packers out to put them at 5-5. The Colts (4-5), Bills (4-5), and Raiders all had bye weeks so their records did not change.  Last but not least, the Dolphins won, moving their record to 5-4 and putting them two games (with head to head tie-breaker) ahead of the Chargers for an AFC Wild Card spot.

What All This Means for the Chargers

So, with a Chief and Bronco win, it is looking more certain that three teams from the AFC West will make the playoffs, and none of those three will be the Chargers. A Raven win and Steeler loss means that the Steelers are now at about the same level as the Chargers, as far as playoff hopes go. Losing to the Dolphins puts them two games above the Chargers in the wildcard race with only six games left to play. A Titan win puts them one game above the Chargers and only two and a half games out of a wildcard spot.

What Needs to Happen Week 11

The Chargers need to rest up. According to head coach Mike McCoy, the team will have the entire week off because the team has “something special” and they “deserve it.” Not too sure about what you think, but repeatedly blowing fourth quarter leads in sure-win games wouldn’t earn my team a week off of practice. Anyway, I’m getting off topic here.

So in Week 11, Chief and Raider losses would be a huge advantage to the Chargers. Either one or the other.  Just, whichever team does lose, we need them to keep losing. A Chiefs loss wold be more preferable since they have a slightly tougher remaining schedule. The Colts upsetting the Titans, Rams coming up clutch against the Dolphins in L.A., the Browns getting their first win against the Steelers, and the Bengals topping the Bills will all help the Chargers path to playoffs be a lot easier.

The biggest games for Charger fans to watch for this week are the Chiefs-Buccaneers, Colts-Titans, Dolphins-Rams, and Texans-Raiders. If all these games go in favor of the Chargers, then some weight can be taken off the shoulders of Philip Rivers and company. Like I said in the last article, especially after this loss, keep your hopes low and your thoughts reasonable. A ton of fortunate things need to happen in order for the Chargers to make the playoffs, but do not give up hope yet. This is what being a Charger fan is all about, not knowing the certainty of your team’s future, and holding on to any possible hope we can find. Go Chargers!

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Derek Cluff
Derek is a 22-year-old out of Lemon Grove, California. A burning passion for San Diego sports led him to pursue an opportunity to write and share about what's going on with the teams in America's Finest City. A young and aspiring sports journalist looking to grow his knowledge and expand his experience at any opportunity.

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