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Chargers Path to the Playoffs: They Have a Very Real Chance

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

With one week left in the regular season, the Los Angeles Chargers are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. There are three ways they can get in.

1) Chargers win, Titans lose or tie, Ravens win or tie

2) Chargers win, Titans lose or tie, Bills lose or tie

3) Chargers tie, Titans lose, Bills lose or tie

So, first things first, the Chargers absolutely must not lose to the Oakland Raiders. There is no way in that includes a loss. And given the rarity of ties in the NFL, it probably does not make much sense to focus on outcomes that involve ties. So, that’s step 1: don’t lose.

Step 2 is: hope the Titans don’t win against the Jaguars. If the Titans win the Chargers are done. The Jaguars just lost to the 49ers last week so this doesn’t look like as much of a sure thing as it did a week ago.

Step 3: hope the Ravens don’t lose and/or the Bills don’t win. The Bengals are pretty terrible, so the odds of the Ravens not losing seems pretty good. The Bills failing to win against the Dolphins seems like a bigger ask.

Overall, you add everything up and the Chargers probably have about a 40% chance of making the playoffs. After an 0-4 start, it’s hard to ask for much more in week 17.