The Los Angeles Chargers 2018 season could be something that is parallel to a blockbuster Hollywood movie. Everything that could happen, has happened. From beginning to now, it’s been a roller-coaster ride, but somehow, they still have shot at extra fixtures in the postseason.
Head Coach Anthony Lynn’s first season in charge started in the worst possible way with four straight losses, three of them by 3 points or less. Two East coast defeats to New England and Jacksonville, in the middle of their season, didn’t help either. It seemed every week the Chargers would find another way of throwing games. But, like a Hollywood picture, there were ebbs and flows. Three, and four win game streaks kept the team’s thin hopes alive. In fact, it did more than that. A prime-time match-up with Kansas City to have control of the division. Like most ‘big’ games the Chargers buckled under the pressure.
An ugly bounce-back win on the road in New York kept the Chargers above .500, and with a shot at the postseason. But, they need help.
This tweet from Dan Woike, a writer for the LA Times, lays out the scenarios.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) December 25, 2017
With any tie unlikely, the third option can almost be eliminated. So, first things first, Los Angeles has to beat Oakland. Originally, all the other games involved were scheduled to happen earlier than the Chargers-Raiders fixture, before the NFL flexed them to the later time.
Another scenario that has to happen, is Tennessee losing to Jacksonville. The Jaguars loss in week 16 to the 49ers, paired with the Steelers thrashing over Texans on Christmas Day, means that they can’t move from their current #3 seed in the AFC standings. Their HC Doug Marrone said this week that his team won’t be resting any starters, presumably to rebound from their disappointing loss. On the other hand, the Titans are on a three-game losing streak, but still have a chance of stealing the 5th seed, from Baltimore. With all that being said, it should make the Jags favorites, right? Vegas says otherwise, Tennessee is currently 3 point leaders, and it has been as high as 6. Going to have to hope they’re wrong on this occasion!
After those two results, there are options. Either a Buffalo loss or Baltimore win is the final step. Buffalo host Miami, and like Tennessee, are 3 point favorites. The Fins, at 6-9, have nothing to play for, except boosting their draft position. Therefore, to expect heroics from them is doubtful. There is far more hope in Baltimore, who host Cincinnati. The Bengals are another team with virtually nothing to play for, only pride against their division rivals. It would be one of the shocks of the day if Cinci can pick off the Ravens.
All in all, none of this matters if the Chargers can’t do their job. Lynn talked about reducing the league-wide scores updates on the screen at StubHub Center, because of the distraction, which it definitely could be if one or more of these games become close.
With the Chargers involved, good or bad, it’s likely to be spectacular, just like it is in the movies.
–Thomas Herd is a Deputy Editor and Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media. He covers the Los Angeles Chargers. Follow him on Twitter @chargers_uk.