The Chargers did what many believed they couldn’t when they came out on top against the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football by a score of 23-17. The win was absolutely crucial to the team staying alive in the AFC playoff, especially when you consider just how soft the rest of the remaining schedule is for the Bolts.
After the 7-6 Titans come to town this Sunday, the Chargers will then face the 4-8-1 Colts, 4-9 Rams, and then end the season on the road against the 3-10 Broncos.
As of this moment, FiveThirtyEight has the Chargers with a 55 percent chance of making the postseason. That’s currently the seventh-best odds for an AFC team, meaning that the numbers point towards the Bolts landing the seventh and final seed ahead of the Patriots (40 percent chance to make postseason) and Jets (33 percent).
When you look at the remaining schedule for either of those two AFC East teams, it’s easy to see why the computer doesn’t like their chances of finishing strong.
The Patriots’ final four games include the 5-8 Raiders, 9-4 Bengals, 8-5 Dolphins, and 10-3 Bills.
The Jets have the 6-7 Lions, 5-8 Jaguars, 7-6 Seahawks, and 8-5 Dolphins.
Now the Jets do look like they have a much more appealing schedule over the final month, but those who have been watching the games in recent weeks know that both the Lions and Jaguars are playing some of their best football of the season as of late.
While it’s probably unlikely, you could see a reality where both of these teams finish with a 1-3 record (or worse) over this stretch and seemingly shut the door on themselves from edging out the Chargers for the seventh seed.