LA Chargers News

Week 16 outcomes that help the LA Chargers playoff chances

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
4 of 5
Joe Burrow, Shelby Harris
Cincinnati Bengals v Denver Broncos / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

Baltimore Ravens over Cincinnati Bengals

This game is actually huge for the LA Chargers. It is not huge in the sense that you have to be on the edge of your seat waiting for the outcome, but it is huge that it is happening in the first place. Both the Bengals and Ravens are 8-6 and as it currently stands, the Ravens are out of the playoff picture while the Bengals lead the AFC North.

One of these teams obviously has to lose which is going to help the Chargers. A tie would only complicate things but being 9-6 is better than being 8-7-1, so it would still help the Chargers. So the question then becomes which team do the Chargers want to have the same record as and which team should get a worse record?

In reality, it does not mater which AFC North team has the same record as the Chargers. That team will be in the lead in the AFC North so their record won't even matter when it comes to the wild-card race. We are mostly looking at what team the Chargers should prefer to be 8-7.

That team is the Bengals, for two reasons. First, if the Bengals lose and the Chargers beat the Texans then they will have the same conference record, which helps in a multi-way playoff tie. If the Chargers and Bengals end up tied between just the two, the Chargers have the head-to-head tiebreaker because of the head-to-head result.

The second reason is the final two games. Both teams have tough games next week with Cincy taking on the Chiefs and Baltimore taking on the Rams. However, the Chiefs are probably the tougher matchup right now and the Bengals are more likely to lose that than the Ravens are to lose to the Rams.

The Bengals then have the Browns to close the season while the Ravens have the Steelers. There is a good chance that by losing to Baltimore and losing to KC, the Chargers could be two games up on the Bengals heading into Week 18. It is less likely that would be the case with the Ravens.