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Chargers' Playoff Scenarios Abound Heading into Week 17


The Chargers know they're in the playoffs.

After that, it's all up in the air.

At this point, we know the Bolts will either be the AFC's top seed or they'll finish fifth as the first of two wild card teams.

They could have a first-round bye, meaning the road to the Super Bowl for the AFC goes through Los Angeles, or they'll hit the road, playing in either Baltimore, Indianapolis, New England, Tennessee or Pittsburgh on Wild Card Weekend.

There are so many scenarios at play…and we won't know the outcome until Sunday night.

However, here is a glance at all of them.

The simplest equation to figure out is how the Chargers end up as the AFC West champs. They simply must beat the Denver Broncos and have the Oakland Raiders defeat the Kansas City Chiefs.

Unfortunately, the Chiefs possess the tie-breaker, meaning if they remained knotted up at either 12-4 or 11-5, the Chargers end up as the five seed.

Now, if that's the case, here is where it gets tricky.

Should the Houston Texans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in a 10:00 a.m. PT game, the Chargers would face the AFC North champions. That would be the Baltimore Ravens if they defeat the Cleveland Browns, or the Pittsburgh Steelers if they beat the Cincinnati Bengals and the Ravens lose. If both teams lose, the Bolts would travel to Baltimore.

However, if the Jaguars beat the Texans, the Chargers would then head to either Indianapolis or Tennessee as long as the Steelers do not win the AFC North.

The Colts and Titans play each other on Sunday Night Football with the winner clinching a postseason berth, meaning the Bolts may not know their first opponent until well into the evening.

Oh, and if the Colts and Titans tie each other in the above scenario? Well, the Chargers would then travel to Baltimore.

But that's not all.

If the New England Patriots lose to the New York Jets while Houston and Baltimore both win, the Bolts would then head to Foxborough to take on the reigning AFC champions.

So, there are clearly a lot of moving pieces as no single team is locked into a seed entering the final week of the season.

It should make for a dramatic Sunday.

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