Chargers Playoff Scenarios, Chances, Seed Predictions: Sunday Night Football Has Postseason Berth on the Line vs. Raiders
Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Herbert
- The Los Angeles Chargers are in position to clinch a playoff berth in Week 18.
- The Chargers face the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football with postseason implications for both teams.
- Here are the chances the Chargers clinch and all the scenarios needed on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Chargers haven’t made the NFL playoffs since 2018, but Justin Herbert and first-year head coach Brandon Staley have the team in position to break that streak.
It all comes down to Week 18.
A 4-1 start had talking heads raving over Herbert as a potential MVP and Staley as Coach of the Year. That stretch included wins over the Chiefs and a Browns team that was considered a playoff contender way back in Week 5.
However, the Chargers faced average results with a pair of ugly losses over the last two weeks. They’re 5-6 since that 4-1 start, leaving the team 9-7 and needing to win the regular-season finale.
There’s only one scenario for the Chargers to worry about this week. If the Chargers get a win or tie against the Raiders on Sunday Night Football, they’re in.
The Chargers have the advantage, at least according to the betting market — Los Angeles is a 3-point favorite at Las Vegas (check real-time NFL odds here).
According to our expert’s Travis Reed’s model — which helps power our NFL PRO Projections — the Chargers have a 64% chance of making the playoffs. He projects them most likely as the No. 7 seed with an outside shot at the No. 6 seed.
If the Chargers lose on Sunday, they’ll only have themselves to blame. The Chargers wasted an opportunity against the Chiefs in Week 15, blowing a fourth-quarter lead twice in an eventual overtime loss. A week later, Los Angeles lost to lowly Houston, 41-29.
If the Chargers make the postseason, it’ll be their first time since Philip Rivers led the way in 2018. They lost to the Patriots that year in the Divisional Round.