BFTB Roundtable: Can the San Diego Chargers make the 2013 NFL playoffs?

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Sitting at 4-6 the Chargers are still somehow mathematically in the playoff race. With the toughest remaining schedule in the NFL, is the chase for the final wild card spot a reality?

Okay gentlemen, lets hear your thoughts on the playoff chase now that the team is two games south of .500

Starting with our ageless wonder Bob:

SDNativeinTX

Allow me to address this question thusly:

Let me add that the comments about giving the game away and "that sucks" could be applied to every Bolts game after the bye.

Well that's a great way to sum up your thoughts. Sure to be a BFTB commenter favorite. JKvandal is up next.

JKvandal

Absolutely not. Depth will not get any better as the NFL season grinds on, and I'm not confident the coaching staff has any new wrinkles to throw into the gameplan. I think the roles of Green, Allen, and Mathews will increase and they will flourish, but the offense has moved away from the efficient, short passing game we saw the first few weeks and that's not a good thing considering the state of this O-Line.

So he sees no hope. Does somebody have hope? David?

David Marver

Technically, the Chargers can still make the playoffs. And, technically, I can uninstall and cease playing Candy Crush Saga. Neither one is going to happen.

Oh. I thought you had hope. I stopped with the Candy Crush after level 34 or something like that. The game I can't stop playing is Fun Run. I'm in the top 50! Now, back to the hope train...Jason?

Jason Peters

The playoffs should never have been a consideration in the first place. Most of us didn't expect it heading into the season. Leading in, we only wanted Philip Rivers to become Philip Rivers again, for the offensive line to improve, and for the team to develop its young talent. Mission Accomplished. Then the Chargers went and destroyed Houston for a half (when we all thought Houson was a Super Bowl contender), and beat Philadelphia on the road one week after they looked like world-beaters against Washington. Suddenly, playoff contention looked like a very real possibility, and we got away from those original goals.

The rest of the season should be spent continuing to develop the young talent in Keenan Allen, Ladarius Green, and D.J. Fluker. The rest of the season should also be spent quietly putting together a list of coaches to interview for the new defensive coordinator job opening up. The team should also consider buying a few books on game theory and strategy for McCoy to read, or at least Sun Tzu's The Art of War. With the latter, his press conferences might be more entertaining at least.

You had me going there for a second. I mean, going into the bye at 4-3 was better than we all expected. One thing you are absolutely right on, is the book selection. I don't read books, but if I were an NFL coach I would.

Kyle Posey

I said that this is a 9 win team simply because the AFC was terrible preseason. That still holds true. Unfortunately, the execution of this team has been so awful, that the playoffs just aren't an option to this point. The same mistakes week in and week out in the same situations have cost this team.

I'll say that just because the team won't make the playoffs, doesn't mean they should tank. There is NO guarantee that Player A selected with the 8th overall pick, will be better than Player B selected with the 15th overall pick. The draft is a crap-shoot. Play to win, play aggressive, and fix these "fundamentals" that they've been preaching. Tanking creates bad tendencies. No thanks.

9 win team? Wow. I feel better about my 7-9 predicted finish. Like the optimism though. And I totally agree with your ending thoughts there. At least finish on a high note, Chargers. The season is all but lost, play it out! Thanks Kyle. Now for the writer who's tired of our 'missing vowel' jokes.

Andrew Tschiltsch

The last thing this team should be thinking about is the playoffs.

Is that it? That's inexplicably short, but still intense. There are too many things to focus on before the teams sets its sights on playoffs, so, way to get us thinking there.

Jeffrey Siniard

Personally, I think they're done, because they need to win at least 5 of the next 6 to have a chance, and even then almost every tiebreaker is against them.

The margin for this team making the playoffs was always incredibly slim. It depended on three major things happening this season that hadn't happened the previous 2-3 years. 1) Rivers returning to Pro Bowl form, 2) Avoiding major injuries, 3) Getting better situational decision making and execution in close games.

Thus far this season, the Chargers have gotten the 1st (and arguably most important) of these things to happen, but they haven't avoided major injuries and amazingly (in a bad way), they may be even worse in the situational decision making and execution department. No team in the league (excepting possibly Dallas) has killed themselves the last 3 years like the Chargers have.

Ouch. Way to punch the bag off the hook! I can't really comment much on that, because it's such a complete thought.

Nick Shepherd

This team isn't making the playoffs. It's unfortunate, because with their offense, they'd have a chance if they got there. The defense, however, is so bad that it's borderline unwatchable. I can literally feel myself reaching for distraction every time they take the field. It's awful.

With the last 3 losses, the team has only a mathematical shot at the playoffs. They'd need a small miracle and perhaps for a meteor to strike the Denver Broncos practice field. At this point, we're playing for draft position. That means seeing what you have in the young guys: Brandon Taylor, for example, needs to be on the field. Melvin Ingram doesn't necessarily need to come back. Ditto King Dunlap and Eddie Royal. Tutu should get a shot to prove that he's an NFL player. Ryan Mathews should prove that he's an everydown back, even if it means leaving him on the field during passing downs and having him take more than a few lumps in protection. We're playing for next year now, folks.

Um, have to disagree a bit there... The offense has stalled and failed numerous times this year in critical situations or when the defense miraculously gets a stop. For example: all three of the last games. Even the losses to Houston (pick six in the 4th quarter preceded and followed by four 3 and out drives) and Oakland (4 turnovers and zero first half points) were ones you fault the offense for. With that said, how could the offense have a chance in the playoffs if they've struggled against non-playoff defenses? That's just my thought though. Let's hear from our fearless leader:

John Gennaro

They're cooked. Once they lost to the Redskins, they were cooked. Because, after that, they needed to win every game that wasn't against the Chiefs or Broncos and they weren't going to do that by losing every close game.

I don't care if they're not officially eliminated yet, they're going 0-3 against the Broncos and Chiefs the rest of the way and will probably struggle against the Raiders again.

I agree a lot with this one. Specifically the 0-3 part. At best, I see the Chargers going 3-3 to finish off the season, at worst: 0-6. Painfully so. Let's conclude with Richard Wade.

Richard Wade

The Chargers are out of contention for the playoffs at this point in time. Any chance they had was lost when they managed to lose to an inferior Miami Dolphins team on Sunday. The remainder of this season is an exercise in playing for next year. It's time to see what they have in young players like Brandon Taylor. Injured veterans like Eddie Royal and King Dunlap can stop playing hurt. Perhaps with the weight of contention removed from his shoulders, Mike McCoy can experiment with correct game management.

ZING! That's the phrase of the week! "Perhaps with the weight of contention removed from his shoulders, Mike McCoy can experiment with correct game management". Thanks for finishing off our discussion with that great line, Richard. That concludes our Roundtable! Okay BFTB, let's hear your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to follow the staff on twitter, especially this guy:

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