At this point, if any Chargers fans is trying to make the point that Norv Turner should be fired they should probably lead with the fact that his teams are taking years off the lives of Chargers fans. Every year the team looks like one of the worst in football through the first 5-6 weeks of the season before turning into one of the best in November and December. Countless Bolts fans jump off the bandwagon out of frustration, but then get roped back in when the team turns it on again. This year has been no different.
With 7 weeks left in the season, the AFC West race is a tight one that could be getting tighter. Here are the possibilities the Chargers are looking at heading into next week's game in Indianapolis:
Chargers and Chiefs win: Let's be honest, the Raiders are better but they're still 1-3 on the road and heading into Pittsburgh to play a pissed off Steelers team. If this situation occurs, it will shock nobody and the Chargers will be chasing only the Chiefs for the division title.
Chargers and Raiders win: This would be an interesting scenario, because the Chargers would trail the Raiders by 1 game and Oakland would hold the tiebreaker with a better divisional record (3-0). The Chargers, with their 0-2 divisional record, and their fans would have to keep an eye on each of the Raiders remaining divisional games with hopes of capturing the AFC West Championship again. This same thing obviously applies in the scenario above where both the Chiefs and Raiders win this weekend.
Chargers win: Don't count out the Arizona Cardinals to upset the Chiefs. Kansas City is 2-4 in their last 6 games and were decimated by the Broncos on Sunday. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have defeated the Rams (4-5), Raiders (5-4) and Saints (6-3). If the Chargers are the only AFC West team to win this week, 75% of the division then gets locked into a tie with matching records of 5-5.
At that point, the Chargers have a distinct advantage in that they have home games left against the Raiders and Chiefs (both in December!), and they have a much easier remaining schedule than Oakland (Mia, @Jax, Ind, @KC).
After the jump, find out what happens if the Broncos stay hot and defeat the Chargers on Monday Night.
Chiefs, Raiders and Broncos win: The Chargers drop to 2 games behind the Raiders and Chiefs, and are only 1 game ahead of the Broncos (with a Week 17 game in Denver looming). If this happens, the Chargers probably could not afford to lose in Indianapolis the following week. Also, they would need something resembling a "collapse" by the Raiders over the last 5-6 weeks of the season if they have hopes of finishing above them in the division standings.
Raiders and Broncos win: See above. If the Chargers lose this weekend and Oakland wins, the Chargers would most-likely need to win the rest of their games (including the one at Indianapolis) and would need the Raiders to lose at least two of their games against Miami, Jacksonville, Denver, Indianapolis and Kansas City. Not impossible, but it would feel an awful lot like 4-8 and 4 games behind the Broncos all over again.
Chiefs and Broncos win: Not as bad as you might think. Sure the Chargers would be a game behind the Raiders, 2 games behind the Chiefs and tied with the Broncos (who would have a better divisional record). However, not nearly as bad as being 2 games behind the Raiders and their 3-0 divisional record. It wouldn't be good, but it wouldn't be the end.
So, how are you feeling about the Chargers and their chances? Does anybody else feel like the entire fan base is holding it's breath until the final whistle of Monday night's game?