Predicting the Chargers' final four games after shocking the Dolphins

Jason Reed
Miami Dolphins v Los Angeles Chargers
Miami Dolphins v Los Angeles Chargers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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Week 18 at Denver Broncos: 21-9 LOSS

Yes, I have the Denver Broncos beating the LA Chargers in the final game of the season. While it would be great for the Chargers to finish with a 11-6 record, they are likely going to lose one of the final four games and it will come in the last week of the season. But there will be a reason for that.

Of course, this is all going off of my predictions in the previous three weeks as well as what I think will happen with the other teams in the AFC playoff picture. If the Chargers lose against the Titans then this game has a completely different dynamic and I would pick the Chargers to win. Either way, 10 wins feels like the number for the Bolts.

I went over and predicted every matchup on ESPN's NFL Playoff Machine and based on what happens, the Chargers do not really need this game. Based on my calculations, both the Jets and the Dolphins will enter Week 18 with a 10-6 record along with the Chargers.

One of the two teams has to lose and with tiebreakers factored in, the Chargers would make the playoffs regardless of the winner. Either way, they would slot into the seventh seed in the AFC. If the two teams tied then the Chargers would have to win or tie with the Broncos but if that happens, the team can play the starters the entire game.

Instead, with all of the injuries the team has suffered this season, Brandon Staley will either not start any of the key starters or will pull them when it becomes clear that the Jets and Dolphins are not going to tie. The Chargers could play for the fifth seed with the starters but with everything that has happened this season, they will value health instead.

Of course, this all changes if the NFL makes the Jets-Dolphins game a Sunday Night Football game like they did with the Chargers and Raiders last season. In that instance, the Jets and Dolphins would be faced with the exact same conundrum the Chargers had last year. In that instance, Staley probably plays the starters to be safe.

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Either way, I have the Chargers finishing the 2022 season with 10 wins and making it as the seventh seed in the AFC.