COSTA MESA — First, they have to beat the Raiders.
Then they need the Titans to lose and the Ravens to win.
Unless the Bills lose, in which case the Ravens can go ahead and lose, too.
The path to the playoffs is a rather twisted one for the Chargers. The good news is they don’t need the most twisted thing of all to happen.
They don’t need the Browns to win, the Browns being so bad that their coach on Wednesday promised to cap the season by jumping into Lake Erie.
“I gave it probably about a good 30 minutes,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said of considering all the necessary scenarios, “and then I was done with it.”
The possibilities for Lynn’s team aren’t endless. But then the Chargers’ season isn’t ended, either, something that appeared to be a real possibility when they went 0-for-September and then opened October with another loss.
Now 8-7, the Chargers absolutely have to beat Oakland on Sunday at StubHub Center and definitely need Tennessee to lose at home to Jacksonville.
From there, they need more help, and perhaps it would be easier for the Chargers to just curl up in a ball in the corner of their locker room and not open their eyes again until Monday morning.
“It comes down to us winning,” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “I can’t find one yet where we can lose and still make it. … I think that’s our focus, find a way to win one game. Hopefully, that gets us another one.”
The odds aren’t in the Chargers’ favor, a fate that has remained largely unchanged since their 0-4 start, a start that felt depressing enough to have been their finish.
Despite making it all the way back into contention, things remain so convoluted and potentially distracting that Lynn has suggested not showing the scores from the other pertinent NFL games Sunday at StubHub Center.
The notion is an ambitious one, particularly in this age of chronic communication, the NFL having just fined a player – yeah, he was inactive, but still … – for…