The Los Angeles Chargers have a chance to sneak into the playoffs after a four-loss start to the season.
If L.A. defeats the Raiders on Sunday and gets some help elsewhere (including a Titans loss to the Jaguars), Philip Rivers & crew will become just the second team in NFL history to make the playoffs after starting the season 0-4. The other team to do so was the 1992 San Diego Chargers.
"We have a chance now again," Rivers said, via the team's official website. "We don't know what happens. We've got to take care of our business. But a chance now to do something that's only been done one other time. Get into the postseason after an 0-4 start. And that ironically was the Chargers [in 1992]. So it's exciting to be in the mix in Week 17. If you would have told us at 0-4, 'Hey, you all are going to have a chance in Week 17,' at 0-4 we would have said, 'Deal. We'll take that.' When you're sitting there at 0-4, you've got a long way to go. We've at least given ourselves an opportunity."
The Chargers own the most talent of the teams in play for the No. 6 seed -- Titans, Bills -- but suffered brutal late-game miscues early in the season and blew a chance to control their path to the playoffs in a blowout loss to the Chiefs in Week 15.
The Chargers pulled out a victory over the Bryce Petty-led Jets in Week 16. It wasn't the type of runaway win that cultivates confidence heading into a must-win Week 17, but L.A. put themselves in position to potentially be the team no one wants to face in the playoffs.
"It seems pretty simple to me," Rivers said. "There's not a whole lot [we need to happen]. The one common denominator is us winning. I can't find one yet where we can lose and still make it. So we've got to take care of our business. Obviously, we're all playing at the same time. We can only control what we can control. We have a chance to win our ninth game -- nine of our last 12, which would be a heck of a bounce back after making ourselves that 0-4 hole. I think that's our focus; just find a way to win one game. Hopefully, it gets us another one. But just focus on preparation for Oakland right now."