2. The LA Chargers have a much easier remaining schedule
For those that do not know, the easiest path to the LA Chargers making the playoffs this season is to win out and for both the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins to lose one game. If those three things happen, regardless of what happens throughout the rest of the league, then the Chargers make the playoffs.
There is also the security option of the Bengals losing out. If the Bengals lose out, the Chargers can still make the playoffs without a Baltimore loss (assuming the Chargers win out). The Bengals losing out and the Ravens going 1-1 also opens the door for the Chargers to go 1-1 and make the playoffs, although it would take the Dolphins losing twice among some other things.
Speaking of the Dolphins, they have one of the toughest final two games in the league after having a mostly easy stretch of games that led to this seven-game winning streak. The Dolphins take on the Tennessee Titans in Week 17 before taking on the New England Patriots in Week 18.
The Titans can still be in the mix for the one seed while the Patriots can still be in the mix for the AFC East as well as potentially missing the playoffs depending on what happens. While I am partially worried about Miami beating the Titans, the odds of beating both of these teams is slim.
The Ravens have a tough slate as well as they have to host the Los Angeles Rams, who still have something to play for, and then finish the season against the Steelers. While the final game is in Baltimore, you can throw out the record books when the Steelers and Ravens square off.
The Chargers' final two games is by no means a complete breeze but the Bolts have two games that they should be favored in. On Sunday the Chargers host the Denver Broncos with Drew Lock starting at quarterback and in Week 18 they play a Raiders team that might be knocked out of the playoff hunt altogether and have nothing to play for.
If we are just going off of chalk, the Chargers make the playoffs.