AFC West Playoff Odds Report: Chargers Slide Significantly

I'm gonna take that bitch to the playoffs. Bitches love playoffs.

Football Outsiders has released their latest playoff odds report today. After having the best odds to make the playoffs in the division last week, it should come as no surprise to anyone the Chargers have taken a significant tumble following the loss to the Raiders.

Before getting to the chart, I'll let Football Outsiders explain their odds system.

The playoff odds report plays out the season 10,000 times. A random draw assigns each team a win or loss for each game. The probability that a team will be given a win is based on an equation which considers the current Weighted DVOA ratings of the two teams as well as home-field advantage. (DVOA ratings are explained here.) Mean Wins is the average number of wins for this team over the 10,000 simulations. Odds are given for winning each playoff seed, as well as for winning the division (DIV), earning a bye week (BYE), or winning a wild card (WC). TOT represents odds of making the playoffs in any fashion.


Just how bad is it? Well, you'll have to make the jump to find out ...


Team Rec WEI DVOA Mean Wins #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 DIV BYE WC TOT CHANGE
KC 8-4 3.1% 10.1 0.1% 2.6% 57.3% 8.6% 0.1% 1.7% 68.6% 2.7% 1.8% 70.4% 18.5%
SD 6-6 19.3% 8.6 0.0% 0.2% 16.1% 2.6% 0.3% 6.2% 18.9% 0.2% 6.5% 25.4% -31.6%
OAK 6-6 -4.0% 7.9 0.0% 0.0% 8.0% 4.5% 0.0% 1.0% 12.5% 0.0% 1.0% 13.5% 11.2%
DEN 3-9 -8.8% 4.7 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%


As it stands, the Kansas City Chiefs are now the heavy favorite to win the division.  There's still a decent chance the Chargers can win the division, or make the playoffs with Wild Card berth, but it's not going to be easy.

Something of note: it appears the Chargers have a significantly-better chance of winning the Wild Card spot than the Chiefs do.  It appears that the Chiefs' only hope of making the playoffs this year is to win the division.  But, based on Football Outsiders' simulations, the Chiefs are all but guaranteed to win the division.

Last week, Oakland was almost out of the playoff picture (at 2.3% chance), but their win over San Diego this week rejuvenated their chances significantly, increasing their playoff odds nearly five-fold.  Despite that jump in probability, the Chargers are still twice as likely as the Raiders to make the playoffs.

And yes, the Broncos are completely eliminated from the playoff picture.

The loss to the Raiders couldn't have come at a worse time.  The only thing more devastating would be a loss to the Chiefs this week.  If we lose this week, you can kiss the playoffs good-bye.

At this point, the Chargers will need to win all four games remaining, and hope the Chiefs and Raiders both lose at least one of their remaining games.  It's definitely an uphill battle, but it's certainly not hopeless, yet.

The most likely scenario for the Chargers to make the playoffs I see happening is the Chargers winning out, the Raiders lose to the Colts, then beat the Chiefs in the final game of the season, allowing San Diego to slip into the playoffs.  Or, the Chiefs could conceivably lose to the Rams, making that final divisional matchup moot.

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