With 3 AFC division leaders clinched and some losses by teams in the hunt, the path to the playoffs gets a little clearer for the Chargers.
Two tough road games left – two victories needed
What we know:The Broncos, Pats and Colts are in. The AFC North will not be decided until the last week.
Teams in the Hunt:
Chargers: After two disappointing loses, Charger fans are more ready to look towards next year’s draft than the playoffs. (cue Jim Mora) The reality is that we just played the best two teams in the AFC. While our competition will be stiff the rest of the way it will be easier than the last two weeks. Two tough road games left – two victories needed. If they win them, they are in.
Buffalo: The Bills stepped it up this weekend and beat GB. I did not see that coming. Their remaining schedule is the Raiders and NE. Even if they win both, the Chargers hold the tiebreaker.
Baltimore: The Ravens finish up the season on the road against the Texans and at home against the Browns. I expect them to win both and pick up the first wildcard spot.
Pittsburgh: The Steelers finish up with two games at home. First KC and then the Bengals. Pittsburgh is playing great ball right now. I expect them to beat KC and crush the Bengals who they dominated two weeks ago in Cincinnati. The Steelers will win the AFC North title.
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Cincinnati: The Bengals are fading fast and their schedule is ugly. They get the Broncos at home next week and finish on the road with Pittsburgh. I expect two loses from the Bengals to finish the season, which will leave them out of the playoffs. (This weekend … we will have to be Bronco fans … ugh)
Kansas City: The Chiefs need to win the last two to have any hope. It they win next week at Pittsburgh and the Chargers beat SF, then the last game of the season with the Chargers will be a play-in-game for both teams. And in addition it will make the CIN/PITT game a play-in-game for those teams as well.
The TLDR version is this…Root for the Chargers to win the next twoRoot for the Broncos to beat the BengalsRoot for Pittsburgh to beat the Chiefs if you want our last week game to have no meaning for the Chiefs