The LA Chargers suffered a horrible loss against the Houston Texans in Week 16 in which they were outplayed at every turn by one of the worst teams in the entire league. This was a game that many fans penciled in and is the most painful regular-season loss since the Chargers lost to the winless Cleveland Browns.
The Chargers controlled their playoff destiny. The Bolts could have won out and would have made the playoffs no matter what. Now, the Chargers need serious help to be one of the final seven teams playing in the AFC. Let's break down how much help the Chargers really need.
What needs to happen for the LA Chargers to make the playoffs in 2021:
1. The LA Chargers have to win out
If the LA Chargers don't win out then they are not going to make the playoffs, plain and simple. While the Chargers could technically still make the playoffs by finishing with a 1-1 split in the final two games, there are so many teams in the hunt that it becomes virtually impossible.
According to FiveThirtyEight, if the Chargers beat the Broncos but lose against the Raiders the playoff chances fall to 20%. If the results are flipped then the playoff chances are 18%. Realistically speaking, the Chargers are not making the playoffs with a 9-8 record with how crowded the AFC is. The team has to go 10-7.
The Chargers definitely are good enough to win out but as we have seen this season, this team is far too inconsistent. Plus, the Chargers are also dealing with big COVID-19 issues, which is only going to make it harder to win out.
The worst part is that they can finish 10-7 and still miss the playoffs if the other required things that need to happen don't happen.