The LA Chargers went into Monday Night Football against a New York Jets team that poised a tough matchup for the Bolts. While it was not always pretty, the Chargers were able to walk away with yet another comfortable victory in primetime, beating Zach Wilson and the Jets 27-6.
The story of the game was the special teams and defensive play for the Bolts. Derius Davis scored on a punt return touchdown to kickstart the Chargers scoring and the defense was able to take over from there. Heading into the game it was stressed that the Chargers would need good play out of special teams and defense and that is exactly what the team got.
Offensively the Chargers looked far from perfect but that is to be expected against this Jets defense. At the end of the day, an ugly win is better than a pretty loss and with the win, the Chargers are now back to .500.
Chargers' playoff chances take massive jump after dominant win over Jets
According to the New York Times' Upshot NFL Playoff Simulator, the Chargers now have a 36% chance of making the playoffs. That is still far under 50% but it is far better than what the alternative would have been. If the Chargers would have lost this game then the playoff odds would have fallen all the way to 14%.
A loss to the Jets would have dug a hole that was too deep for the Chargers to get out of. Not only would the Bolts have been 3-5 but they would have had a head-to-head loss against another AFC wild card hopeful. Now, if the Chargers and Jets are tied for the last playoff spot, the Chargers will get in.
There is still more work for the Chargers to do as the team is tied for the ninth-best record in the AFC with the Houston Texans. The final two playoff spots currently belong to the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, who both have a 5-3 record. Los Angeles is certainly in striking range.
It is important to note that the Bolts have the sixth-best point differential in the AFC after the win. That could be a telling sign that the Chargers are ready to make a second-half push toward a playoff spot in the AFC.