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Chargers Playoff Picture: Bolts currently outside looking in

Continuing to get healthier could go a long way in buffing the Chargers’ playoff chances.

NFL: Chargers vs Chiefs Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Chargers fell to 5-5 on the season after a dramatic 30-27 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.

With seven games remaining, the Chargers will likely need to go 4-3 a the very least to have a shot at making the postseason while a 5-2 record over the final stretch could almost ensure a spot for the Bolts. That 4-3 finish would allow the team to mimic their 9-8 record from a year and a 5-2 finish would allow them to improve on their 2021 mark.

Now in all honesty, I think if you took a step back and asked yourself what you think the Chargers final record would be in 2022 had you known beforehand everyone that wound up being injured or lost for the season, you’d be astounded that the team had a winning record, nonetheless a shot at the postseason.

But while that level of context can give us some warm fuzzies, there’s still plenty of work to be done. They Chargers are not entirely in control of their destiny and they’ll need the Bengals, Patriots, and Jets to all stumble a bit in the coming weeks if they want to see their playoff chances rise.

As things stand heading into week 12, the Chargers have a 31 percent chance of making the postseason per FiveThirtyEight.

The Bengals (56 percent), Patriots (55 percent), and Jets (46 percent) are all currently 6-4. The Colts (18 percent) are still technically in the hunt but they’ll need several teams to implode for their dreams to come to fruition.

For a short-term picture, here are the next two opponents for each of the Chargers, Bengals, Patriots, and Jets:

  • Chargers: @ Cardinals (4-7), @ Raiders (3-7)
  • Bengals: @ Titans (7-3), vs. Chiefs (8-2)
  • Patriots: @ Vikings (8-2), vs. Bills (7-3)
  • Jets: vs. Bears (3-8), @ Bills (7-3)

So in reality, the Chargers could be right back on top of this quarter if they take care of business over the next two weeks.

But that’s a BIG “if” as of now.