The Patriots have won three in a row. Our friends at AccuScore calculate their chances of making the playoffs soared from 50.8 percent to 70.4 percent with last week's victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
The San Diego Chargers, meanwhile, are reeling. They're plagued by injuries and have lost three of their past four, including two in a row to the Oakland Raiders and St. Louis Rams. Their chances of making the playoffs dropped from 74.4 percent to 48.8 percent with the Rams debacle.
After 10,000 computer simulations, AccuScore's computers spat out the prediction for Sunday's game: The Chargers are 56 percent favorites.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is the spotlight variable here. He projects for a nice day of 260 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The more yardage he throws for means victory is less likely and interceptions a greater concern.
If the Patriots can force at least two turnovers, then the Patriots become 54 percent favorites. If the Chargers commit no more than one turnover, their chances rise to 70 percent.