The Los Angeles Chargers know their playoff fate, and it’s the one that most expected.
The Chargers defeated the Denver Broncos on Sunday, though it wasn’t pretty. The Chargers didn’t have to make too many plays to beat the unmanned Broncos, who look like a team that gave up on the season weeks ago.
Each team turned the ball over four times and the Broncos actually had over 100 yards more of total offense but it was three big plays by the Chargers’ defense that stood out.
After the Broncos scored an apparent touchdown, the play was called back by a holding call. On the next play, Denver was flagged for holding again. Then, Case Keenum threw a backward pass that was scooped up by Kyle Emanuel who ran it in for an 18-yard touchdown.
Late in the third quarter, the Chargers forced a fumble deep in Denver territory, leading to a 3-yard touchdown pass from Philip Rivers to Mike Williams.
Denver answered back, getting a touchdown when Keenum hit Andy Janovich on a 20-yard strike and then decided to go for a two-point conversion which would have made the score 14-11. Instead, Casey Hayward intercepted the pass that was intended for Courtland Sutton and took it all the way back for a two-point score for the Bolts.
That made the score 16-9. The Chargers added another touchdown on a 1-yard run by Austin Ekeler to provide the final score of 23-9.
More from Bolt Beat
- LA Chargers: Drue Tranquill takes a jab at Gus Bradley’s defense
- LA Chargers second-year players: Nothing lose and a lot to gain
- LA Chargers: Why running back could be a big issue for the Bolts
- LA Chargers: Chris Rumph’s upside is Melvin Ingram-like, but better
- Chargers: Reggie Slater calls LA the “dream scenario” for Rashawn Slater
However, with the Kansas City Chiefs pasting the Oakland Raiders, the Chargers will be the AFC’s No. 5 seed despite a 12-4 record, which is tied with the Chiefs for the best in the conference.
That means that for the second time in two weeks, the Chargers will face the Baltimore Ravens, who survived a late scare from the Cleveland Browns to win the AFC North division title. The Ravens defeated the Chargers 22-10 in Week 16.
The Chargers will venture into the postseason for the first time in five years and they will do so against the league’s No.1 defense and top rushing attack.
The Chargers and Ravens have never met in the playoffs. Baltimore leads the all-time series between the teams 7-5. The Chargers are 1-3 in games played in Baltimore against the Ravens and that one win was by just one point.
The full playoff schedule has yet to be released.