The massive playoff implications of the Chargers beating the Giants

New York Giants v Los Angeles Chargers
New York Giants v Los Angeles Chargers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The LA Chargers had one of the easiest games of the season lined up in Week 14 as the Bolts were taking on the New York Giants and Mike Glennon. While it was easy to be confident in the Chargers heading into the game, anything can happen in the NFL and the last thing the Bolts needed to do was get ahead of themselves and overlook the Giants.

The Chargers did not do that as they took care of business against New York without two of their best players in Keenan Allen and Derwin James. The Giants put up some garbage-time points to make it look close but in the end, this game was dominated by the Chargers throughout.

The team's upcoming Thursday Night Football game against the Kansas City Chiefs is going to have massive implications on who wins the AFC West but the Bolts' Week 14 outcome already has massive implications on the team making the playoffs. The Chargers' win, mixed with other results in the league, has put the Bolts in a really good spot to make the playoffs.

The massive playoff implications of the LA Chargers beating the New York Giants:

The Chargers also got some help as well as some of the other wild-card teams in the AFC lost. Most notably, the Cincinnati Bengals fell to the San Francisco 49ers in overtime, significantly hurting their chances and putting them "in the hunt" instead of in a playoff position. The Buffalo Bills, who were also a five-loss team heading into the week, lost in overtime to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

According to the New York Times, the Chargers now have an 81% chance of making the playoffs after beating the Giants. The Chargers have a higher chance of making the playoffs than the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens. In fact, the only wild-card team that currently has a higher chance of making the playoffs is the LA Rams, who have a 91% chance of making it.

The historical implications of an 8-5 record are huge as well. While this season is different because it is a 17-game season and it is only the second season with seven playoff teams, the Chargers' playoff chances with an 8-5 record are very high.

There have been 178 teams to start with an 8-5 record since the NFL-AFL merger (excluding the strike seasons of 1982 and 1987). Of those 178 teams, 113 (63.5%) made the playoffs. The Chargers have started with an 8-5 record six times in franchise history, making the playoffs in three of those seasons.

Meanwhile, the playoff chances with a 7-6 record are much different. There have been 184 teams to start with a 7-6 record and only 31.5% (58) of those teams made the playoffs. The playoff chances, historically, double if you win with a 7-5 record instead of losing. Four previous Charger teams started with a 7-6 record and not a single one ended up making the playoffs.

MORE: 2 things that must happen for Justin Herbert to win the MVP

While there is still four more games to play and the LA Chargers have to go out and earn that playoff spot, fans have to feel really good about the Bolts at least playing into January this season.