The Los Angeles Chargers have overcome a massive rash of injuries this season to build a four-game winning streak while clinching a wild-card playoff spot in the AFC going into Week 18.
They have the opportunity to not only end the regular season with a five-game win streak but to also finish fifth in the conference if they defeat the Denver Broncos on Sunday or if the Baltimore Ravens lose to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Some may feel a win won’t matter, but in terms of building more momentum heading into the postseason and further ingraining the right winning habits, it will matter.
Many expect Los Angeles to prevail over Russell Wilson and company, and these are just two reasons why.
The Broncos Have Had A Disaster Of A Season And Have Nothing To Play For
When Denver traded for Wilson, a future Hall of Fame quarterback, many expected the team to be in the mix for Super Bowl contention.
But things have played out closer to the worst-case scenario, as Wilson has looked like a thin shell of his old self and the Broncos have been one of the worst offensive teams anyone can remember seeing.
They hold a 4-12 record, and after recently firing head coach Nathaniel Hackett, they’re simply waiting for the season to end so that they can try to fix the mess they’ve created.
It’s hard to imagine a Chargers team that is now close to full health losing to such a squad.
Head Coach Brandon Staley Plans On Playing His Starters
The Ravens and Bengals will tip off at 1 p.m. Eastern time, while the Chargers’ contest starts at 4:25 p.m. Eastern time, so Los Angeles could already claim the fifth seed before the first snap of its game.
But Staley has expressed an interest in playing his regulars regardless.
Brandon Staley on how the #Chargers will approach Sunday's game in respect to the starters: "You got to take the facts on the ground as they happen in real time to make your determinations. Once we find out about that game (Ravens-Bengals) we'll make the appropriate decisions."
— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) January 4, 2023
Some would say he should rest his regulars in order to protect them and have the football equivalent of a bullpen game, but several of his regulars, including pass rusher Joey Bosa and wide receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, have only recently come back from injuries and likely need for snaps to be in prime shape for the playoffs.