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NFL playoff picture: What does Chargers-Colts mean for AFC standings

The Chargers face the Colts in Indianapolis on Monday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view of Lucas Oil Stadium before a game between the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Results update: The Chargers won 20-3 and clinched a wild card spot. They can’t win the AFC West, so they are stuck in either the 5, 6 or 7 spot (currently 6th) while the AFC leaders continue to position for the No. 1 seed.

The Indianapolis Colts host the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football to close out Week 16. The Colts have been eliminated from playoff contention, while the Chargers are in the driver’s seat for a wild card berth. The game kicks off at 8:15 p.m. ET and the Chargers are a four-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Chargers playoff picture

LA comes into the game with an 8-6 record and is in sixth place in the AFC. If they beat the Colts, they clinch a wild card berth and remain a game back of the Ravens for the top wild card berth.

If the Chargers lose on Monday, they would fall to 8-7 and back into a tie with the Dolphins. The good news out of that is they have the tiebreaker edge over Miami thanks to their head-to-head win. The bad news is they would only be a game up on the Patriots, Jets, Titans, and Steelers. They still control their own destiny, but it moves them closer to opening a can of worms in the closing weeks of the season.

Tiebreaker implications

This game will impact the conference record and common games tiebreakers in the AFC wild card race.