Why upcoming schedule may assist Chargers qualify for playoffs

They led Kansas Metropolis by as many as seven factors and by 4 factors 5 totally different instances and nonetheless led — 27-23 — within the sport’s remaining minute.

They led San Francisco from early within the first quarter till halfway by the fourth quarter and nonetheless had an opportunity within the remaining minutes till their final three possessions ended with a three-and-out, a four-and-out and an interception.

All these alternatives — and two essential video games — have been misplaced for the Chargers over the past two Sunday nights, their season instantly edging towards a breaking level with the arrival of Thanksgiving week.

“We performed two actually robust video games in a row in prime time in opposition to two actually high quality groups,” coach Brandon Staley stated Monday. “I really feel like our stage [of play] has been excessive. I believe we all know precisely the place we stand proper now when it comes to the context of the NFL panorama.”

On the skin is the place the Chargers stand, at 5-5 and ninth within the AFC, one sport behind New England, Cincinnati and the New York Jets. The highest seven groups in every convention advance to the postseason.

The Chargers have missed the playoffs in every of the final three seasons and might’t lose too many extra video games to have any likelihood of ending that streak.

Nevertheless it needs to be famous that the Patriots, Bengals and Jets all have remaining schedules that seem decidedly harder than what the Chargers are dealing with.

During the last decade, the AFC’s seventh-place staff completed with seven losses 4 instances, eight losses thrice, six losses twice and 5 losses as soon as.

“We undoubtedly know that, proper now, we’re on the skin of the playoffs wanting in,” huge receiver DeAndre Carter stated. “We’ve to go get this win at Arizona and, hopefully, put some wins collectively.”

The Chargers’ Austin Ekeler (30) is stopped for a brief acquire as teammate DeAndre Carter (1) tries to carry off Chiefs nook Jaylen Watson.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Occasions)

The Chargers simply misplaced to 2 groups that seem headed to the postseason, the Chiefs sitting atop the AFC at 8-2 and the surging 49ers coming into their Monday evening sport at 5-4 and seventh within the NFC.

Of the Chargers’ remaining opponents, solely two extra — Miami and Tennessee — appear like playoff members. The Dolphins and Titans are every 7-3 and first within the East and South divisions, respectively.

Each of these video games are at SoFi Stadium, which sounds encouraging however ensures nothing. The Chargers have misplaced their final two at house and are solely 2-3 in Inglewood this season.

This can be a staff struggling to make any assertion at house, which appears becoming for the reason that Chargers so usually must make use of a silent rely of their constructing.

“We’re simply sticking collectively,” Carter stated. “We all know that now we have a very good staff. We’ve good gamers within the locker room. We imagine in our tradition, imagine in our teaching employees.”

Past Miami and Tennessee, the Chargers’ different 5 remaining opponents have a mixed report of 17-33-1 — a .343 successful share.

These video games all seem winnable, however the Chargers must produce on the highway. They play at Arizona, Las Vegas, Indianapolis and Denver. Their different sport is in opposition to the Rams at SoFi Stadium.

“What we have to maintain doing is making enhancements on our soccer staff, proceed to get guys again and make that progress going into the subsequent sport,” Staley stated. “As robust as it’s … you’ll be able to’t let these video games have an effect on your subsequent one.”

The Chargers proceed to financial institution on their enhancing well being, the newest addition being huge receiver Keenan Allen.

Mike Williams got here again Sunday, too, however didn’t make it by two sequence earlier than aggravating his high-ankle sprain from final month. Staley stated Williams’ newest tweak was “not a major re-injury.” The Chargers will know extra about Williams’ availability later this week.

Professional Bowl edge rusher Joey Bosa’s standing additionally stays unresolved. He has missed eight weeks due to a groin damage that required surgical procedure. Staley has stated the staff expects Bosa again sooner or later this season.

Linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. suffered a stinger Sunday evening, stated Staley, who added that Murray felt higher Monday.

Working again Joshua Kelley is predicted again in follow this week. He’s eligible to return however stays on the injured reserve record due to a knee drawback.

“It’s simple within the NFL while you undergo these dropping streaks to let individuals from the skin of the constructing try to break us aside inside the locker room,” Carter stated. “However our greatest factor is simply us staying collectively, persevering with to work, persevering with to belief and imagine in our tradition and our program, and we’ll get it circled.”