Ranking which team has the best chance to ruin Chargers playoff chances in Week 17

Los Angeles Chargers v Houston Texans
Los Angeles Chargers v Houston Texans / Bob Levey/GettyImages
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Derek Carr
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

3. Las Vegas Raiders

A Las Vegas Raiders win is the least impactful outcome that could happen as it would not kick the LA Chargers out of a playoff spot, it would just give the Raiders some hope that they could beat the Chargers in Week 18 and make the playoffs. In fact, according to Five Thirty Eight, if the Raiders beat the Colts in Week 17 their playoff odds jump from 16% to 57%.

The worst part is that the Raiders do not even need to worry about the outcome of the Dolphins or the Ravens games. If the Raiders can beat both the Colts and Bolts they make the playoffs no matter what. If both the Ravens and Dolphins win out then the Raiders would finish as the fifth seed, the Colts as the sixth seed and the Dolphins as the seventh seed (beating the Patriots to knock them out).

The Raiders would suddenly have a win and get in situation and even if the Chargers are the more talented team on paper, there could be a case in which the Chargers' chances are much slimmer than the Raiders' chances if both the Ravens and Dolphins win in Week 16. That is not what we want in Week 18.

What we want is a loss to the Colts. If the Raiders lose to the Colts and the Chargers beat the Broncos the Raiders' playoff chances drop to 0.5%. Not much to play for and the Bolts might have an easier time.

Luckily, that is the most likely outcome because the Colts are a really good football team and the Raiders are wildly inconsistent. The Colts have beaten the Patriots and Cardinals in back-to-back weeks and while there could be a "come back down to Earth" game, chances are that they make quick work of the Raiders.