It’s been four years since the Los Angeles Chargers last made the NFL playoffs. Going into Week 13, Brandon Staley’s squad sits outside the current playoff picture as the 9th seed in the AFC playoff race.
All is not lost for the Chargers’ playoff chances, however, as they have both games against the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs out of the way. But as we all know, if any team knows how to shoot themselves in the foot, it’s the Chargers.
The Chargers Playoff Chances Rely on Consistent Football
Sitting at 6-5, the Chargers are within one game of the New England Patriots, New York Jets, and Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC playoff race. With New England losing their Thursday Night game this week, Los Angeles has a 43% chance to make the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight, and control their own destiny to be the last team in.
With only six games remaining on their schedule, here’s who the Chargers have left to play:
- Las Vegas Raiders | Week 13
- Miami Dolphins | Week 14
- Tennessee Titans | Week 15
- Indianapolis Colts | Week 16
- Los Angeles Rams | Week 17
- Denver Broncos | Week 18
Their remaining opponents combine for a 28-37-1 record. The only two with winning records are the Dolphins and Titans, who they’ll face in consecutive weeks. The remaining four all have an opportunity to play spoiler, including the Raiders and Broncos, who the Chargers have already played and beat in 2022.
On this week’s episode of Football Insiders, Pro Football Network’s Trey Wingo stated the Chargers need to find a way in, and he has his doubts about whether they can make it happen due to head coach Brandon Staley and the coaching staff. You can listen to his segment on the Chargers’ playoff chances above.
Chargers Playoff Odds Heading Into Week 13
As of Dec. 2, the Chargers’ odds to make the playoffs sit at -150 over on the Caesars Sportsbook. Their strength of schedule down the stretch certainly has a lot to do with Caesars’ confidence in Los Angeles.
With a win against the Raiders in Week 13, and if both the Jets and Bengals lose to the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively, the Chargers’ odds of making the postseason increase all the way to 70%. Certainly a plausible scenario, as the matchup looks much tougher for their opponents, but we’ve seen Staley’s squad over the last two seasons fail to win in games that matter most.
A loss would drastically decrease the Chargers’ chances. If they can’t get the job done against the Raiders, their chances would fall to below 37% regardless of the Jets and Bengals outcomes in Week 13. With the Dolphins and Titans next in line, dropping three straight heading into the final three weeks of the season would put not only the Chargers’ season on the hot seat but Staley, too.