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Playoff Picture Week 9: Big Game for the Chargers

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Your weekly look at how the playoff picture is shaping up. What needs to happen for the Bolts to be back in the playoffs?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Current playoff picture:

(1)    Broncos (6-1)

(2)    Patriots (6-2)

(3)    Bengals (4-2-1)

(4)    Colts (5-3)

(5)    Chargers (5-3)

(6)    Bills (5-3)

Contenders:

Ravens (5-3)

Steelers (5-3)

Chiefs (4-3)

Dolphins (4-3)

Browns (4-3)

Texans (4-4)

Week 9 Matchup: At Miami

Needless to say, this is the most important game for the Chargers' season to date. While still possible, It would take some sort of miracle for San Diego to win the division, which means they are one of 8 teams fighting for 2 Wild Card spots. The Chargers are 1-1 against the Wild Card contenders with their win at Buffalo and loss to Kansas City. If they lose to the Dolphins, they will likely head into their bye week outside of the top  6. They Cannot afford to fall to 5-4 and major leverage with tie breakers.

Other Important Matchups

Ravens at Steelers

Every team in the NFC North is over .500, so these division games will start to sort out the contenders from the pretenders. A Ravens' loss would put them at 5-4, with a shabby 2-4 record within the AFC. However, Charger fans may benefit more from a Baltimore victory since it would give the Bolts more control of their own destiny considering they play the Ravens in week 13.

Who Else to Root for

Jaguars at the Bengals

I don't see this one happening.

Jets at the Chiefs

Don't hold your breath on this one, either.

Buccaneers at the Browns

How will the Bucs look after the fire sale?

Eagles at the Texans

A loss would knock the Texans down to 4-5 and make them quite the long shot.