Saturday, November 16, 2013

NFL Playoff Update: San Diego Chargers Are Still Alive... Barely

Chargers QB Philip Rivers - Courtesy of San Diego Chargers
Call me crazy - and I know some of you will - but the San Diego Chargers are still in the thick of the hunt for the second Wild Card playoff spot in the AFC. It's a long shot because of the Bolts' remaining schedule, the toughest in the NFL, but it could happen. 

It all starts, and perhaps ends, this weekend. San Diego has to win in Miami on Sunday. 

Here are the teams competing for that second Wild Card as of today:

New York Jets 5–4
Miami Dolphins 4-5
Cleveland Browns 4-5
Baltimore Ravens 4-5
San Diego Chargers 4-5

If the Chargers beat the Dolphins tomorrow, San Diego will of course pass Miami on this list. 

The Cleveland Browns will probably (if not certainly) lose to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. And the Baltimore Ravens could certainly lose to the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Chicago. 

If all that happens, San Diego would be behind only the New York Jets, who will probably win at the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. But that isn't a given, either. Buffalo is a decent team at home.

If these games go as I expect and hope, the Chargers will be tied with or closely trailing only the Jets for the second AFC Wild Card spot by the end of the weekend. And then San Diego has to play the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead. And at Denver.

It's a tough road, and San Diego's defense is giving up far too many yards and points. But with Chargers' quarterback Philip Rivers back in Pro Bowl form, this team is capable. Inconsistent, but capable. 

If San Diego loses on Sunday, though, any hope of a playoff bid this season goes from slim to virtually none.


  1. Jamie:

    As a true football fan, I really do respect your loyalty to the Chargers. And you may be absolutely right, the Chargers do have a shot at a wild card slot. Personally, as your friend, I hope they get there. In the end, however, it really doesn't make a lot of difference. Why do I say that? The New England Patriots and Tom Brady. You need to explain how they get over that fact.

    Best regards,

    1. Thanks John. Tom Brady is a lock for the Hall of Fame. Obviously. But with all respect, he isn't playing very Brady-like this season. He's completing just 57 percent of his passes, and is on pace to throw double-digit interceptions. His passer rating is 82.7 through nine games. To this point in the season, the two best QBs in the AFC this year are Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. Brady right now isn't even in the top ten.

    2. Problem is: Brady will find a way to win when he has to.