Chiefs might rest starters against Chargers, a game with playoff implications for the Ravens

Jamaal Charles might not play much against the Chargers this week, which could hurt the Ravens' chances at the postseason. - Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens would like for Kansas City to beat San Diego. But the Chiefs might wind up sitting their starters Sunday.

There's a good chance the Kansas City Chiefs will rest their starters in Week 17, so they can head into the playoffs close to full strength and prevent injury to some of their key players.

Oh, wait: How exactly does this affect the Ravens?

Well, in a big way, actually. The Chiefs are the opponent of the San Diego Chargers in Week 17. If you're a Ravens fan, you really want the Chargers to lose so that the Ravens have a chance to play in the postseason.

At its simplest, two scenarios exist to get the Ravens into the playoffs: 1) Ravens win and either Chargers or Dolphins lose; 2) Ravens, Chargers, Dolphins and Steelers all lose.

If Miami and San Diego both win, the Ravens do not make the playoffs regardless of what happens in their game against the Bengals.

Earlier this week, Chiefs coach Andy Reid told reporters he was contemplating sitting his players. The Chiefs cannot win the AFC West after losing to Indianapolis last Sunday and are locked into the fifth seed no matter what happens this week.

So it makes sense for Kansas City to rest players such as Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles and Tamba Hali. But by doing so, the Chargers have an inherent advantage entering the their Week 17 matchup.

That would mean Baltimore's best bet to receive help could come from the New York Jets, which play the Dolphins this week. That, of course, would depend on which Geno Smith shows up. Will it be the one that scored four total touchdowns last week? Or the one that can't keep the football from the opposing team?

It could be quite stressful for Ravens fans this Sunday.


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