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Wild Card Watch: Week 16

NFL: DEC 18 Patriots at Colts Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Current Standings

5th Indianapolis Colts 8-6 (90% chance)

6th Los Angeles Chargers 8-6 (50% chance)

7th Buffalo Bills 8-6 (75% chance)

OUT Baltimore Ravens 8-6 (50% chance)

OUT Pittsburgh Steelers 7-6-1 (25% chance)

OUT Las Vegas Raiders 7-7 (15% chance)


Los Angeles Chargers

Score this week: Lost 28-34 (OT) vs. Chiefs

The Chargers lost a very tough game in overtime against the division leader Kansas City Chiefs. While their chances of securing a wild card spot are still rather safe, the Chargers have not been able to beat good teams this season, so that is a major reason for concern. Their defense has also not been able to perform according to expectations.

Next week: @Texans

Be careful here, the Chargers will probably be without Austin Ekeler, and the Texans have shown that they can at least make things complicated. This should be a cakewalk for the Chargers, but don’t be surprised if the Texans make it interesting.


Buffalo Bills

Score this week: Won 31-14 vs. Panthers

Easy win for the Bills who managed to get back on track against a struggling Panthers team. Josh Allen threw 3 touchdowns, and the running game was fairly productive, while the defense did its job containing the inconsistent Panthers’ offense led by Cam Newton.

Next week: @Patriots

This is a defining matchup for the Bills, who could still be able to make the playoffs even with a loss against the Patriots, but their chances drop drastically if they don’t manage to win. This should be one of the most entertaining matchups of the week, as the explosive Bills passing attack faces off against a stout Pats secondary, while the Patriots running game will be looking for a repeat of their previous matchup against Buffalo.


Baltimore Ravens

Score this week: Lost 30-31 vs. Packers

Heartbreaking loss for the Ravens, who were led by an inspiring performance by backup quarterback Tyler Huntley. He did all he could for the Ravens, passing for 2 touchdowns and adding 2 more on the ground. In the end, the Ravens failed to convert a two-point attempt that would have put them up by one, and their playoff chances are now in great danger.

Next week: @Bengals

This is a key game for the Ravens, who really need their leader Lamar Jackson back. A loss here would force Baltimore to win their games against the Rams and the Steelers, two very tough matchups.


Pittsburgh Steelers

Score this week: Won 19-13 vs. Titans

An important win for the Steelers that keeps them in the playoff hunt. The defense played absolutely amazing, forcing 4 turnovers, while Boswell and Big Ben did just enough to hold on to the win. The Steelers will need to sort out plenty of issues with their offense, but their rock-solid defense is still keeping them in games.

Next week: @Chiefs

Pittsburgh’s defense will be stressed to the max against a Chiefs’ offense that has been slowly returning to their elite form. Like most of the teams above, the Steelers cannot afford to lose and need to play their best football in order to have a shot at beating Mahomes and the Chiefs.