The LA Chargers are heading into the team's biggest game of the season in Week 15 as they take on the Kansas City Chiefs at home on Thursday Night Football. As it currently stands, the Chargers are the fifth seed in the AFC while the Chiefs are the top team in the AFC West.
The Bolts are one game behind the Chiefs in the standings but a win over Kansas City on Thursday would propel them into first place in the division. The Chargers would be 2-0 against the Chiefs this season and would have the divisional tiebreaker over Kansas City.
There are still three more weeks to play after Week 15 and the Chargers would control their own destiny. While anything can happen in the NFL and the Bolts cannot take a single opponent for granted, winning in Week 15 would all but lock up the division for the Chargers.
Why the LA Chargers will win the AFC West with a win in Week 15:
It all has to do with the remaining schedule for both teams. Losing to the Chiefs in Week 15 would put the Chargers in a really tough spot as they would be two games down and would not have the tiebreaker. With three games remaining, it would become virtually impossible.
Chiefs fans might still feel confident if the Chargers win in Week 15 as they would have to win out to lock up the division. We certainly cannot blame a Chiefs fan for not thinking the Bolts can run the table, but when you look at the remaining schedules, it is clear that the Chargers have an easier go of things than the Chiefs.
The Chargers' final three opponents this season are the Houston Texans in Houston, the Denver Broncos in LA and the Las Vegas Raiders in Vegas. The Texans are more concerned about getting the no. 1 overall pick and should be an easy win for the Bolts. The Broncos are a tough team but the Chargers already lost to them and get to play this game in LA. Chances are they split with them. The Raiders have been playing bad football as of late and there is a good chance that they have absolutely nothing to play for in Week 18, making it a much easier game for the Chargers.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs have to host the Steelers, go on the road against the Bengals and go to Denver to play the Broncos. The Chiefs are better than the Steelers but they are a well-coached team that won't quit and can shock some teams. They definitely are not a pushover like Houston. The Bengals will be fighting for their playoff lives and playing in Cincy is not very easy. If the best version of that offense shows up the Chiefs are in trouble. They then have to go to Denver and play in what will likely be freezing conditions in Week 18. Definitely a bigger task than playing Denver at home.
If you had to rank the final six games for both teams in order of difficulty, it would rank something along the lines of:
1. At Bengals
3. At Denver
5. at Las Vegas
The Chiefs have the three toughest games for either team. All three of the Bolts' games are easier than any one of the Chiefs' games to end the season. Of course, anything can happen, but you have to like the Bolts' chances.
There is a decent chance that both teams win out and the Chargers get in on a tiebreaker. However, it would not be the most shocking thing in the world if the Chiefs drop one of those final three games and give the Chargers an extra game of cushion, which at that point, would essentially lock up the division for the Bolts.
The team has to get past the Chiefs on Thursday first, though. If they do, there is a really good chance that the Chargers would win their first division title since 2009.