Winning 12 games and tying for the best record in your conference would typically result in some sort of reward, whether it be through a home game in the Wild Card round or a bye. That is not the case for the Chargers.
The Kansas City Chiefs owning the AFC West tiebreaker has placed the Chargers on a much more daunting postseason path.
Instead of having to win two games without hopping on a plane, the Chargers will need to become the first team ever to win three straight road games in cold-weather cities to reach the Super Bowl unless the Texans or Colts meet them in the AFC title game.
Furthermore, the 21st century has witnessed just eight 12-win Wild Card teams that did not receive a home game. All eight of those teams failed to win their conference and combined to go 5-8. The 2000 Baltimore Ravens and 2001 San Francisco 49ers do not apply as they each received a home game in the Wild Card round.
21st Century 12-win Wild Card teams with no home game
2001 Packers – 1-1
2003 Titans – 1-1
2005 Jaguars – 0-1
2008 Colts – 0-1
2010 Ravens – 1-1
2011 Steelers – 0-1
2013 49ers – 2-1
2016 Raiders – 0-1
These results have zero bearing on what occurs in January/February 2019. It just illustrates how the Chargers will need to buck the trend on two different stats that certain Wild Card teams have failed to overcome.