After dropping back-to-back primetime games to the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs, the LA Chargers' Week 12 game against the Arizona Cardinals became a must-win. A loss would not have eliminated the Chargers on paper, but it would have put the team in a hole that would have been far too big to dig out of.
Luckily, despite an ugly start, the Chargers were able to escape with a 25-24 road win behind a gutsy call by Brandon Staley that may have saved his job. Now the Chargers have a 6-5 record and are right in the thick of the AFC playoff picture.
The Chargers are far from alone in the AFC playoff picture.
There is a lot of competition in the AFC for the sixth and seventh spots in the playoffs. Whoever doesn't win the AFC East between the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills will absolutely make the playoffs, leaving two spot for four teams.
Joining the Chargers in the hunt for a wild-card spot is the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets and New England Patriots. The Bengals and Jets are currently one game ahead of the Bolts with a 7-4 record while the Patriots also have a 6-5 record.
Baltimore also could end up in the wild-card chase if the wheels fall off as they too have a 7-4 record. But with the Ravens having a pretty easy schedule remaining, they should be able to secure the AFC North.
But what about the other wild-card teams in the hunt? How are they going to finish this season compared to our Chargers prediction? Let's break down each team's remaining schedule and predict each outcome to see where the Chargers need to end up.