Week 17 at Denver Broncos: Chargers win
Maybe this is optimistic as Denver is always a house of horrors for Justin Herbert and this Chargers offense, but this feels like a really winnable game for the Bolts. The Broncos do not have the same potent defense that they have had in years past and that should really help the Chargers in this matchup.
At this point, Denver will likely be eliminated from playoff contention and we will probably see the coaching staff shift the focus toward the future. Heck, it would not be surprising if Jarrett Stidham is starting this game for Denver.
It will probably be way uglier than it needs to be, but this feels like it will be a replica of the Week 9 Monday Night Football win over the New York Jets to give the Chargers their ninth win of the season.
Week 18 at Kansas City Chiefs: Chargers loss
We really wish we could just put blinders on and give the Chargers a Week 18 win over the Chiefs but the situation is stacked against the Chargers. Justin Herbert is just 1-5 against Patrick Mahomes in his career and the odds are that the Chiefs will actually have something to play for in this game.
If there is no competition for the No. 1 seed in the AFC (or if the Chiefs fall out of the running) then there could be a world in which KC rests its starters in this game. But with several teams liking vying for that top seed, the Chiefs will have something to play for in this game.
The hope then has to be that nine wins will be enough for the Chargers to get into the dance. As it stands right now, just like we said after the bye, a 9-8 record seems like a realistic finish for the Bolts.