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How the Chargers Can Clinch a Playoff Berth

By Eric Smith, The Chargers

The Chargers can clinch a playoff spot in Week 16.

The Bolts are 8-6 and currently hold the No. 6 seed in the AFC after winning back-to-back games against the Titans and Dolphins.

If the Chargers beat the Colts on Monday Night Football, combined with Week 16 losses by the Jets, Patriots and Raiders, the Bolts would secure a postseason berth.

Here’s the look at the AFC playoff picture — with standings, current playoff odds, and a status update — as we head into Week 16.

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): Clinched a playoff spot

Status: The Bills won an instant classic against the Dolphins in the snow to hold onto the AFC’s top seed.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): Clinched the AFC West

Status: The Chiefs had to work overtime Sunday but claimed their seventh consecutive division crown.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (10-4)

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): Greater than 99 percent

Status: The Bengals have overtaken the Ravens and moved atop the AFC North with three games to go.

4. Tennessee Titans (7-7)

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): 57 percent

Status: The Titans still lead the AFC South but four straight losses has allowed the Jaguars to climb back into the race.

5. Baltimore Ravens (9-5)

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): 99 percent

Status: The Ravens are still making the postseason but now have to rally to get back atop their division.

6. Los Angeles Chargers (8-6)

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): 83 percent

Status: Well, look at the Chargers. The Bolts have two straight impressive wins as they climbed from the ninth seed to the No. 6 spot entering Week 16. All three phases are contributing these days for the Chargers, who are looking for their first playoff berth since 2018. The Chargers can clinch a playoff spot Monday night in Indianapolis but know that there is still plenty of work to be done in the final three weeks of the regular season.

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): 72 percent

Status: Miam’s playoff chances actually went up despite their Week 15 loss, thanks to losses by the Jets and Patriots. The Dolphins control their own destiny in the final three games.

8. New England Patriots (7-7)

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): 19 percent

Status: The Patriots lost in the most unimaginable way possible on Sunday afternoon.

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): 20 percent

Status: The Jets have tumbled to three straight losses and now face three teams in the final stretch that are all battling for playoff spots of their own.

10. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-8)

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): 44 percent

Status: Jacksonville is surging and suddenly has the AFC South in their sights. If the Jaguars can win the division, it would be their first AFC South crown since 2017.

Take a look back at the Chargers Week 15 win over the Titans in monochrome

11. Las Vegas Raiders (6-8)

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): 5 percent

Status: The Raiders postseason odds are hanging by a thread, but they also have a Week 16 win that people will remember forever.

12. Cleveland Browns (6-8)

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): 1 percent

Status: The Browns are a longshot to make the playoffs, but Cleveland will certainly have a say in how the NFC playoff picture shakes out.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8)

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): Less than 1 percent

Status: The Steelers have played in 10 one-score games this season, going 5-5 in such contests.

14. Indianapolis Colts (4-9-1)

Current playoff odds (via FiveThirtyEight.com): Less than 1 percent

Status: The Colts led 33-0 at halftime against the Vikings but gave up the largest comeback in NFL history.

15. Denver Broncos (4-10)

Status: The Broncos have been eliminated from postseason contention.

16. Houston Texans (1-12-1)

Status: The Texans have been eliminated from postseason contention.

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