Despite a loss in Week 11, the Los Angeles Chargers are still on track for a playoff spot.
The Chargers had their six-game winning streak snapped when they dropped a home game to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, but at 7-3, they still hold the No. 5 spot in the AFC playoffs. That is a spot that may become a best-case scenario for them if they can’t find a way to leap the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West.
Fortunately, the Los Angeles Rams helped out by knocking off the Chiefs in a thrilling game on Monday Night Football.
The Chargers face the Arizona Cardinals next before the schedule gets much tougher. However, if things stay the way they are right now, the Bolts would be heading to NRG Stadium to battle the Houston Texans.
The Texans have been red hot and could end up running away with the AFC South division.
The Chargers haven’t played a Houston team in the playoffs since 1979, when they lost to the Houston Oilers. The Chargers and Oilers faced off in the playoffs three times, including twice back in the AFL. The Oilers prevailed in all three games.
Historically, the Texans have not had the same kind of success against the Chargers, winning just once in the six times the teams have played. Based on that, this could be a matchup which Chargers fans welcome.
Let’s take a look at how the rest of the playoff picture currently sits:
First-round byes would belong to the Chiefs and (believe it or not), the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Chargers will face each of those teams in the next few weeks and both of those games will be massive in terms of how this season will end up.
The other Wild Card matchup on the AFC side would be between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.
For the Chargers to get up past the No. 5 seed, they have to win the division. Here’s a look at the remaining schedules for the Chargers and Chiefs.
Week 12: vs. Arizona
Week 13: at Pittsburgh
Week 14: vs. Cincinnati
Week 15: at Kansas City
Week 16: vs. Baltimore
Week 17: at Denver
Week 12: BYE
Week 13: at Oakland
Week 14: vs. Baltimore
Week 15: vs. Chargers
Week 16: at Seattle
Week 17: vs. Oakland
Just by looking at it, the Chiefs appear to have a much easier road to the division crown. That makes the Week 15 game in Kansas City a must-win for the Chargers. If they lose that game, they will be all but guaranteed a tough road to the Super Bowl, as they would have to do so as a Wild Card and win multiple road games in places like Arrowhead Stadium, Heinz Field or Gillette Stadium.
That’s not necessarily and enviable task.