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Chargers Playoff scenarios

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    There remain numerous postseason possibilities involving the Chargers, including a few seemingly remote possibilities in which they miss the playoffs and some not-so-remote ways in which Denver wins the AFC West. The bottom line is that the Chargers are one victory from making the playoffs.

    That victory could come in any of their remaining three games, because it would be the Chargers’ 11th victory and not enough of the potential wild card teams can get to 11-5.

    In fact, the only AFC teams that can get to 11-5 and not be assured of winning their division are the Chargers and Denver Broncos.

    If both of them finish 11-5, meaning Denver swept its final three games while the Chargers won once, both teams would be in the playoffs. Which one was the AFC West champion would depend on who the Chargers beat for their 11th victory.

    If the only team the Chargers beat was Tennessee, Denver would win the West based on the Broncos having a better record in common games.

    If the Chargers beat only Washington, the Broncos win the West based on having a better record against conference opponents. If the Chargers beat only Cincinnati, the strength of victory tiebreaker would be required and the resolution of that would depend on how Miami and New England finish, because that would be the only uncommon team the Chargers and Broncos beat. Right now, that would favor the Broncos, since the Patriots are 8-5 and the Dolphins 7-6. (If New England and Miami finish tied, the strength of schedule tiebreaker would go to Denver because it played the Indianapolis Colts.)

    If both Denver and San Diego finish 10-6, the only way the Chargers win the West is if Kansas City or Oakland is the team that beat the Broncos. If the Broncos’ loss is to Philadelphia, the Broncos would win the West based on having a better conference record.

    The Chargers could finish 10-6 and still make the playoffs, but it is more likely they don’t.

    If the Jets were the 10-6 team the Chargers were fighting for a Wild Card spot, the Jets would have the tiebreaker based on a better record against common opponents.
    If the Ravens were the 10-6 team the Chargers were fighting for a Wild Card spot, the Ravens have the advantage based on beating the Chargers in September.

    The Chargers would have the head-to-head advantage over Miami.

    But if multiple teams finish 10-6 -- there remain eight teams that can – the tiebreakers get complicated. The possibilities are almost too numerous to mention at this point, because how the tiebreakers are applied depends on whether two or more teams are tied, and how those tiebreakers stack up will depend on which games teams win and lose over the next three weeks.

    But there are some interesting things to consider:

    • The Chargers’ 7-5 conference record if they were 10-6 does not bode well for them. In the event Baltimore, Miami and Jacksonville finish 10-6, they would all have better records against AFC teams.

    • If Jacksonville is able to beat Indianapolis, New England and Cleveland to finish 10-6, it would have a 9-3 conference record.

    • Miami, New England and the New York Jets could all finish 10-6 in the AFC East. In that event, Miami would win the East and New England would be second.

    -- KEVIN ACEE
     

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