San Diego Chargers: To Make the Playoffs, the Bolts Need To Win Out

Jay BrownContributor IDecember 14, 2010

SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 12:  Running back Mike Tolbert #35 of the San Diego Chargers crosses the goal line on an eight yard touchdown run against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium on December 12, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The San Diego Chargers are coming off what could be considered on of the biggest games of their season after decimating the AFC West leading Kansas City Chiefs, 31-0.

Sunday's win could be the turning point the Chargers needed to keep them in the running for their fifth-straight AFC West division crown, but as in previous years the Chargers are going to need help.

Let's take a look at how it can happen.


Scenario No. 1

San Diego needs to win all of their final three games to finish 10-6, and need the Kansas City Chiefs to lose one of their final three games.

The Chargers have the easiest schedule of the three remaining games left to play this season. Playing the San Francisco 49ers at home on Thursday night, traveling to Cincinnati to play the Bengals on Dec. 26, and finishing the season in Denver against the Broncos on Jan. 2.


San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers could prove to be a formidable foe down the stretch for the San Diego Chargers. Mike Singletary's team is looking to make the postseason for the first time since 2002.

The 49ers will be playing with the same back against the wall mentality that the Chargers are playing with right now. With that in mind, it can very well make the 49ers an increased threat and a very dangerous opponent

A loss to the Chargers would devastate any chances the 49ers had of making the postseason without key losses suffered by the division leading Rams and second place Seahawks.

The Chargers will have their hands full on Thursday night, in a game that will guarantee plenty of action.

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 28, San Diego Chargers 34 


Cincinnati Bengals

There is trouble in the land of T.O. and Ochocinco. The Cincinnati Bengals are on life support and their prognosis doesn't look good.

The Bengals are currently on a 10-game losing streak and could possibly be the owners of an 11-game losing streak by the time the Chargers travel to Cincy.

There has been visible and verbal tension on the Bengals sideline, which may ultimately lead to a Chargers victory and Cincinnati finishing the 2010 season with a 2-14 record.

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 34, Cincinnati Bengals 7


Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos have continued on the downward spiral that led to miss the playoffs last season after starting 6-0. Hoping to right the sinking ship that has led Denver to the AFC West basement, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen fired head coach Josh McDaniels.

Yet the Broncos continue to lose. All the while keeping the ball in the hands of quarterback Kyle Orton, while first-round draft pick Tim Tebow waits in the wings.

The Chargers stuck it to the Broncos the last time these two teams faced off, San Diego winning 35-14. Once again the Chargers have to face the Broncos during the final weekend of the season, and with their playoff hopes on the line.

Will the Chargers prevail or will the Broncos spell disaster to the Bolts Cinderella story.

Prediction: San Diego Chargers 41, Denver Broncos 10