The Los Angeles Chargers have hopes of punching their NFL playoff ticket if they defeat the Indianapolis Colts on Monday Night Football. The Colts have nothing left to play for other than to be a spoiler, but sometimes, that can be enough this time of year.
The Chargers have managed to claw their way into controlling their own destiny. They infamously missed the postseason last year after calling a timeout in the minimal seconds of an overtime game with the Las Vegas Raiders that would have sent both teams to the playoffs with a tie. The timeout gave the Raiders an opportunity and the initiative to go win the game outright.
Los Angeles didn’t sit idly by though in the offseason. They went out and made several big splashes by getting pass rusher Khalil Mack and corner back J.C. Jackson to solidify their defense. However, Jackson never really lived up to the hype due to injuries, while star pass rusher Joey Bosa going down with an injury also really hurt their defense. Justin Herbert being the team’s quarterback is probably the only reason this team is sitting on the doorstep of the playoffs at this point.
Indianapolis has been one of the bigger disappointments. They barely missed the playoffs last season, and they went out and got quarterback Matt Ryan — who appeared to have some magic left in the tank — to fill their starting quarterback position. The Ryan move, along with some rough play-calling that didn’t highlight running back Jonathan Taylor enough had this team struggling all season. We even saw Ryan get benched and head coach Frank Reich get replaced by Jeff Saturday, who had never coached any meaningful football prior to becoming the interim head coach.
It looks like the Colts are in the position that they are playing for their own jobs as a coaching change is clearly coming. That kind of change can bring plenty of personnel turnover. Not only that, but they could very well be auditioning for other teams this offseason.
There also is a certain element of pride at this point in the season to knock off a team that is potentially going to be enjoying the postseason while you sit at home. Getting that one upset could bring a sense of pride at the end of the year.
Here is who our staff is taking in this one, as well as tonight’s open thread, so join the fun! If you’re going to bet on the picks, please use our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook.