The Los Angeles Chargers are lighting up the NFL, and every week they get closer and closer to locking up their ticket to the playoffs. However, the most shocking factor in the Chargers improbable run is that after an abysmal 0-4 start to the season, L.A. could actually end the season with an unthinkable result: a Super Bowl championship.
When last season ended, the controversial decision to move the Chargers out of their long-time home of San Diego to a new location just outside of Los Angeles stirred the hearts of many fans. The Chargers’ front office had betrayed their fanbase in a move that was the result of a clear-cut money grab that even the greediest of owners would shake their heads in disbelief at.
In fact, when the Chargers lost 3 of their first 4 games in the NFL’s smallest stadium, the idea of moving the Chargers back to San Diego was not too far fetched.
However, in Week 5 of the 2017 season, the Chargers traveled to New York to play one of the only other 0-4 teams in the league, the Giants. After a convincing win over New York, the Chargers became hell-bent on turning their season around and becoming the 2nd team in history to make the playoffs after starting the season with four consecutive losses. Now, with the playoffs only 3 weeks away, the Chargers are in a prime position to take home a division title and secure a trip to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Over the span of their last 9 games, the Chargers have managed to win 7 and currently find themselves in a deadlocked tie with Kansas City for first place in the AFC West. The Chargers and Chiefs will break that tie this upcoming Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium, with the winner most likely securing the AFC West title.
However, with the way the Chargers have been surging, it only makes sense for them to come out on top next week. Los Angeles has the perfect opportunity to drive the final nail into the rest of the West as they play a Chiefs team that has lost 4 of their last 5 games on Saturday and a mediocre Jets team the following Sunday. The Jets will be forced to play without their starting Quarterback, Josh McCown, who broke his left hand during Sunday’s 23-0 loss to the Broncos. The Chargers will finish the regular season at home against the Raiders, a team that has struggled to find their footing all season, and will most likely be missing star receiver Amari Cooper after he suffered an ankle injury on Sunday during Oakland’s 26-15 loss to the Chiefs.
All three of these games are incredibly winnable for Los Angeles, as they will continue to make their playoff push and look to secure a division title within the coming weeks. The Chargers’ stars are certainly shining bright, as well, as Quarterback Philip Rivers has posted 300 passing yards in 3 consecutive games, while Wide Receiver Keenan Allen has surpassed the 100 receiving yards for the fourth consecutive game, a feat no Charger has ever accomplished before. If Rivers and Allen can keep up this level of production, they would unquestionably become the most proficient QB/WR duo in the league, surpassing Atlanta’s combination of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, and even surpassing Pittsburgh’s legendary combination of Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown.
It is obvious that the Chargers will ride their wave to the playoffs through the passing game, as Keenan Allen, Tight End Hunter Henry, and even Running Back Melvin Gordon all provide Rivers with viable threats downfield as the Chargers will look to pummel their opponents through the air. Los Angeles demonstrated this deadly passing game on Sunday as Josh Norman and the Redskins defense had no answer for Rivers and the Chargers, as L.A came out on top with a convincing 30-13 victory over Washington.
Victories like these will continue to pile up if the Chargers keep playing at this pace, and a playoff berth seems imminent for the Bolts. However, L.A might not be a team destined for an early exit, like many people would seem to believe.
The Chargers’ main strength is their passing game. The more they throw the ball, the better their chances of winning are. In order to reach the Super Bowl, the Chargers would most likely have to play the New England Patriots, whose main weakness this season has been their defense against the pass. In fact, the Patriots shockingly find themselves 29th in the league when it comes to their defensive play against opposing Quarterbacks. New England’s star corner and Super Bowl 49 hero, Malcolm Butler, has been a non-entity for the Patriots, and their weak defense against opposing air games has made life just a little bit more difficult for Quarterback Tom Brady and the rest of the New England offense. The Chargers would also find favorable matchups against the Ravens, who are missing their star Cornerback, Jimmy Smith, and even the Steelers, who have given up 20 points in three consecutive games.
However, the road to the Super Bowl absolutely runs through New England, but the Chargers still have at least a month before they can even think about a meeting with Brady for an AFC title. For now, they can at least find solace in the fact after an abysmal start to the season, they control their own destiny, and have a chance to become the second team ever to reach the playoffs after an 0-4 start.
That other team? The 1992 San Diego Chargers.