San Diego Chargers' Playoff Chances Simplified

By Erwin Mendoza
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers shocked the country when they beat the Denver Broncos last night, 27-20 in the house John Elway built. They reentered the national conversation for that coveted sixth seed, and now it’s ten days of scoreboard and blog watching.

The “easiest” way for the Chargers to get into the playoffs is winning out 9-7 and hoping both the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins end up at 8-8.

If that’s too simple, let’s go over it like algebra problem.

Step 1: The Chargers have to finish better than the Ravens.

Proof: The Chargers don’t own any tiebreakers amongst the forerunners, Baltimore and Miami. The Ravens are leaders based on tiebreakers (head-to-head and conference) over both the Dolphins and Chargers.

The Dolphins part is a bit more complicated, because there are options to attaining step 2.

Step 2: The Chargers have to also finish better than the Dolphins.

Proof A: Since the Dolphins have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chargers, the Chargers anxiously hope the Dolphins go 8-8.

Proof B: The Dolphins can finish 9-7 as long as the New York Jets come out at 9-7. The Jets topple the Dolphins based on the common opponents tiebreaker, giving the Chargers the edge over the Jets on the conference record tiebreaker.

Don’t forget that these scenarios are all blown to bits if the Chargers don’t win out or if they don’t offer tributes to Philip Rivers’ stylist.

Bottomline: the Chargers are going to break your heart.

People will continue to argue that this Chargers team deserves the playoffs, but upon further inspection their clinching scenarios are really strange and complex. This team might be the most dangerous team to not make the playoffs.

Erwin Mendoza is a San Diego Chargers writer for Follow him on Twitter @erwinsports, or add him to your network on Google.

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