NFL San Diego Chargers

5 Games That Will Define San Diego Chargers’ Season In 2014

5 Games That Will Define San Diego Chargers' Season In 2014

San Diego Chargers Phillip Rivers
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The San Diego Chargers could make the playoffs again in 2014, but they play in a tough AFC West and are going to need to circle some games on the calendar as 'must wins' to get it done. San Diego has a path to 10 wins if they take care of business in these contests.

Here's a look at five games that will define the Chargers' season in 2014.

5. Week 5 vs. New York Jets

San Diego Chargers vs. New York Jets
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5. Week 5 vs. New York Jets

San Diego Chargers vs New York Jets
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San Diego could be 3-1 heading into Week 5 when they host the New York Jets, who will be their first tough AFC opponent. The Chargers could easily be fighting for a Wild Card berth with New York to end the season, and owning the tie breaker would give them a huge advantage. The AFC playoffs historically come down to a bunch of 9-7 teams fighting for spots, and 2014 will be no different.

4. Week 8 @ Denver Broncos

 San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos
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4. Week 8 @ Denver Broncos

San Diego Chargers vs Denver Broncos
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The Chargers need to pull off one or two surprises on their way to 10 victories in 2014, and defeating Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos at home would certainly catch the AFC West off guard. The Broncos are going to win the division in all likelihood, so San Diego needs as many division wins as possible in order to keep the Kansas City Chiefs at bay.

3. Week 13 @ Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens vs. San Diego Chargers
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3. Week 13 @ Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens vs San Diego Chargers
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The Baltimore Ravens, like the Jets, could be another team that San Diego will battle for one of the last AFC Wild Card berths. Baltimore is incredibly tough at home, and if the Chargers were to beat them, it would absolutely send a message to the AFC that 2013 was no fluke and they mean business in 2014.

2. Week 16 @ San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers
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2. Week 16 @ San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers
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The final two weeks of the season are going to be pivotal for San Diego. The Chargers could be sitting at 7-7 or 8-6 and in need of two wins heading to San Francisco to take on the 49ers, who will also undoubtedly be playing with something on the line for the postseason. San Diego needs to find a way to outplay the 49ers and get out of San Francisco with a surprise win.

1. Week 17 @ Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs vs San Diego Chargers
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1. Week 17 @ Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Diego Chargers
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Week 17 at the Kansas City Chiefs will be the biggest game of the Chargers' season for obvious reasons. It does not appear like the AFC will be weak enough for the two teams to expect to cement Wild Card berths again in 2014, and Denver is making the playoffs. This will be a de facto playoff game, and a contest where the Chargers could prove they are ready to make noise on the road if necessary in the postseason.

Timothy Downs is a St. Louis Rams/NFL writer for RantSports.com. You can add him on Google or follow on Twitter @Tidow1212.

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