Aug 8, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers corner Josh Johson (36) stiff arms Seattle Seahawks linebacker Kyle Knox (43) during a kick off return at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jody Gomez-USA TODAY Sports
We all know the Chargers have a tough schedule this upcoming 2014 season. But is it too hard for them to compete for the playoffs and Super Bowl? Let me see if I can ease the minds of Chargers fans.
The Chargers’ 2014 opponents had a combined 2013 record of 144-112 (including each divisional team twice). That’s a winning percentage of .563. Also included are both Super Bowl teams and 3 other playoff teams (Chiefs, Patriots, 49ers.) Let’s look at the 2013 schedule. The Chargers finished the regular season 9-7. The combined 2012 record of their opponents last season was 117-139 (.457). Not nearly as difficult.
So the schedule looks a little more scary in 2014. However, the Chargers do have a history of playing well against teams they should lose to (2013 examples: the Thursday night win in Denver, playoff win on the road in Cincinnati, Monday night win against the Colts, the win in Philadelphia.) Other examples are the road playoff win against Peyton Manning in 2007, beating the 11-5 Cowboys in Dallas in 2009, the win in Indianapolis against the 10-6 Colts in 2010, beating the 12-4 Ravens in 2011. San Diego also has a tendency to lose games they should win. We don’t need to list those examples, as they are branded in every Chargers fan’s mind. So that being said, shouldn’t Chargers fans look forward to this year? If the Chargers usually play well against good teams and tend to choke against bad teams, this schedule should be considered a blessing. I know that’s not popular opinion but it’s something to think about.
The last time the Chargers faced both teams of the previous year’s Super Bowl was in 2006. They played both participants of the 2005 season Super Bowl, the Steelers and Seahawks, and beat both teams. Now, I know the 2006 Chargers and 2014 Chargers will be completely different teams, but this is something to consider. The Chargers have played Super Bowl teams the next year and beat them before. Don’t forget, they also beat the Raiders the year after Oakland went to the Super Bowl in 2003. The Chargers have a history of playing well against good teams.
My point is, it doesn’t matter what record the team had the previous year. Every year is different. The Chargers can be even better than they were last year, and teams that were good this year can get worse. Teams lose players, players get hurt, teams get too confident, a lot of things can happen. So cheer up, Chargers fans! This still can be a great year.