The LA Chargers are currently the sixth seed in the AFC with an 8-6 record after defeating the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans in back-to-back weeks. With the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL, the Chargers are in a great position to take care of business and make their first trip to the playoff since 2018.
Right now the focus has to be just getting to the playoffs, that is the most important thing. While the Bolts have a very good chance of doing so, the second that they assume they are in is when the wheels will start to fall off. They know this and will treat every snap like it is the most important of the season.
While they might only be focusing on what goes on in their locker room, the fact of the matter is that the Chargers' odds of jumping up to the fifth seed just exponentially increased as well. Right now, the Baltimore Ravens occupy that spot and are one game better than the Bolts.
The Chargers have the current tiebreaker over the Ravens if they were to finish with the same record and that might be the situation after Week 16. Baltimore's chances of losing on Christmas Eve just shot up exponentially, as they are not getting the Lamar Jackson return that they were hoping to get against the Atlanta Falcons.
The fifth seed is very important for the LA Chargers.
Once again, the Chargers do not have the luxury to be picky about what seed they are if they make the playoffs. The only concern for the team is getting there first. But that doesn't change the fact that the fifth seed would be monumental for the team.
As the fifth seed, the Chargers would take on the lowest divisional winner, which is going to be the winner of the AFC South. Right now that is the Tennessee Titans but the Jacksonville Jaguars do have a path to sneaking back into the divisional race.
The Jags have looked really good in recent weeks to be fair but they still are not the Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, or Buffalo Bills. The deeper the Chargers can go in the playoffs without having to face those teams the better.
Baltimore losing to the Falcons in Week 16 would give the Chargers a great chance of being the fifth seed. The team only needs the Ravens to lose once (assuming they win out) to jump into the fifth seed but this gives the Bolts more cushion.
The Ravens have a gritty Steelers game that can go either way in Week 17 and finish the season against the Cincinnati Bengals, who might be playing for the two seed. There is legitimately a path for the Ravens to finish 9-8 if they lose in Week 16 to the Falcons.