Everything that could go right for the Los Angeles Chargers last week, did go right. While they took care of business against the Tennessee Titans, the results of the rest of the week’s games dramatically improved the Chargers playoff odds. Nothing is guaranteed in the NFL and the games still need to be played, but Chargers fans everywhere should feel good about the team’s playoff chances down the stretch.
READ MORE: Chargers Pro Bowl Results
Los Angeles Chargers Playoff Odds After Week 15
Week 15 Recap
Had the season ended prior to Week 15, the Chargers would not have made the playoffs. At 7-6, the team was in a three-way tie with the New England Patriots and New York Jets for the final wild card spot. Fortunately, the Chargers won their contest, while the Patriots and Jets lost their battles in interesting ways.
Let’s start with New England. Facing off against old friend Josh McDaniels, it appeared as though the Patriots were going to win thanks to a last-second comeback. However, a controversial Keelan Cole touchdown tied the game, making overtime inevitable. Or not. The Patriots had under a minute left in regulation to take the lead when Jakobi Meyers made quite possibly the dumbest play in the history of the NFL.
Of all the plays in the history of football, this is certainly one of them pic.twitter.com/74ccqI6TYD
— LastWordOnNFL (@LastWordOnNFL) December 19, 2022
The Jets, meanwhile, had to start Zach Wilson after Mike White suffered a rib injury in Week 14. Wilson had a rough game, but he actually came close to bringing his team down the field for the game-tying field goal. However, Greg Zuerlein couldn’t make the 58-yard field goal to tie the game.
These two losses gave the Chargers a spot in the playoffs, but Miami’s loss to the Buffalo Bills vaulted the Chargers up to the sixth seed. Both teams have identical 8-6 records, but the Chargers own the head-to-head tiebreaker. If the season ended today, they would face off against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round of the playoffs.
The Rest of the Road
Of course, the playoffs do not start today, and the Chargers will need to keep winning games if they want to hold on to their playoff spot. Fortunately, they have a favorable schedule to end the season. There is no such thing as an easy win in the NFL, but the Chargers should be favored to win their remaining three matchups against the Indianapolis Colts, Los Angeles Rams, and Denver Broncos.
The Patriots, meanwhile, have a difficult road ahead of them. New England will need to shake off their heartbreaking loss to the Raiders and face off against the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, and Buffalo Bills to close the season. They could very well end their 2022 campaign with a four-game losing streak. New York’s path isn’t quite that hard, but they’ll still have their hands full with the surging Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, and Miami Dolphins.
Reaching the playoffs is the ultimate goal, but the Chargers still stand a chance at the five seed. This is the ideal spot to get, as this would earn the Chargers a matchup against the AFC South division winner – a much more favorable matchup than the Cincinnati Bengals. In order to do this, they’ll need to pass the Baltimore Ravens in the standings. At 9-5, the Ravens would need to lose at least one of their next three games against the Falcons, Steelers, and Bengals. While they should beat Atlanta and Pittsburgh, they’re going to struggle to beat Cincinnati. If the Chargers win out and the Ravens go 2-1, a tiebreaker will determine who gets the five seed. All in all, the Chargers playoff odds have never looked better.