Which teams should Chargers be rooting for in Week 12?
By Matt Pagels
Let’s take a look at important matchups in Week 12 of the 2017 season.
Someone asked me why I kept doing this. Now you know why.
The Chargers are in this thing! After starting 0-4, Los Angeles is now 5-6 and currently the No. 8 seed in a weak AFC after dominating the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. They are also just 1.5 games back of first place in the AFC West.
And their remaining schedule…
The Chargers remaining opponents are a combined 5-20 in each of their last five games.
— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) November 24, 2017
Despite having hope, the Chargers can “Charger themselves” at any given moment. Not only that, but their kicking situation must be fixed immediately going forward.
With that said, there’s a ton of games with early playoff implications in Week 12. Who should the Chargers root for? Let’s find out.
Browns (0-10) @ Bengals (4-6): For some reason, I had a good feeling the lowly Giants were going to beat the Chiefs two weeks ago. They did just that. I am now having that very same feeling about the Browns, who are looking for their first win of the season. The Bengals are 3-3 in their last six games and 6-0 in their last six games against the Browns, including a 31-7 win over Cleveland in Week 4. A loss to the Browns would surely kill any playoff hopes for the Bengals. Also, the Bolts host the Browns next week. We don’t want them going into that game winless because, well, you already know..
Titans (6-4) @ Colts (3-7): The Titans got smoked by the Steelers last week, which made many question whether they are a good team or not. Tennessee is currently the No. 5 seed in the AFC. As of now, the Chargers (and others) are fighting for a wide-open No. 6 seed. If the Titans lose two in a row, both wild-card spots could be up for grabs.
Bills (5-5) @ Chiefs (6-4): Man, both teams have been spiraling downward as of late. Tyrod Taylor gets the start in this one (I’m still confused as to why he didn’t get the start in the last one). A loss by either team is great for the Bolts, but the Chargers should root for Buffalo because L.A. is still alive in the division. They also hold the tiebreaker over a Bills team that has a rough schedule going forward (they have yet to play the AFC East-leading Patriots). Let Shady McCoy run all over Kansas City’s 29th-ranked run defense.
Miami (4-6) @ Patriots (8-2): The Dolphins are the worst 4-6 team in the AFC. Find someone who will argue against that and I will personally buy you a Christmas present this year ($20 limit). For the third week in a row, the Chargers are rooting for Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Panthers (7-3) @ Jets (4-6): So. Many. 4-6. Teams. Nobody expected Josh McCown and the Jets to have the record they have going into Week 12. I don’t think they are a bad team, but they aren’t much of a threat. Still, they have a chance like every other 4-6 team in the AFC, so it’s best for them to lose.
Broncos (3-7) @ Oakland (4-6): The AFC West is, uh, not as good as it was made out to be? Both teams made coaching changes earlier in the week. The Broncos fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, and the Raiders replaced defensive coordinator Ken Norton with John Pagano. Hey, that’s two former Charger coaches! At 4-6, Oakland has a better chance than Denver, so it will be the Broncos who we will be rooting for. Actually, let’s have them tie. That’ll be funny.
Texans (4-6) @ Ravens (5-5): OoOoOo. Big game. The Ravens are currently the No. 6 seed in the AFC, holding the tiebreaker over Buffalo. I still don’t know what to think of them. Their defense is top notch (sixth in total defense), but their offense is trash (31st in total offense). The Texans are holding on dearly, but they don’t stand a chance at making a playoff run without QB Deshaun Watson. That said, the Chargers need Houston to hand Baltimore a loss, especially because the Ravens have a very easy schedule.