Oct 12, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers defensive back Jahleel Addae (37) and cornerback Richard Marshall (31) and cornerback Jason Verrett (22) and inside linebacker Andrew Gachkar (59) celebrate after intercepting the ball from Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (not pictured) during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The San Diego Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
I am as excited as anyone about the Chargers’ 5-1 start. I am growing as impatient as anyone, waiting to see the Chargers in the Super Bowl. This year seems as good as any. No team has appeared dominating or heads and shoulders above everyone else. This race is open, wide open. The Chargers are in the thick of it. But we should not be clearing our schedules on February 1st and pre-ordering championship shirts just yet. There is still a lot of work to be done. The first 6 games of the Chargers schedule proved not as challenging as originally thought. The Seahawks were a good win, but even the Cowboys beat them. They are not invincible. The Jets are a mess, as are the Raiders. The Jaguars are still trying to find themselves, and their first win. Winning at Buffalo was good, but the Bills are 1-3 since a 2-0 start and have benched their future in E.J. Manuel.
Yes, being 5-1 and atop the AFC West is never a bad thing. I will take it. But the Chargers cannot afford to get complacent. These next two games will be tough. Hosting the Kansas City Chiefs then turning right around and heading to Denver for a Thursday night game 4 days later will not be easy. We will find out a lot about the Chargers in the next 9 days. The teams the Chargers have played so far have a combined record of 11-22, a .333 winning percentage. The combined winning percentage of the remaining teams on the Chargers schedule is .488.
The Chargers are also battling injuries everywhere, most notably on the offensive line. The Chiefs and Broncos have much better defensive fronts than the Raiders or Jets. Branden Oliver has been such a pleasant surprise in the absence of Ryan Mathews and Donald Brown. But the key will be sustaining the running game with a depleted line and backfield.
This has been a great, darn near perfect start for the Bolts. They are playing like a playoff team. Many power rankings have the Chargers atop the AFC. They have a tough road ahead but it is definitely possible that the Chargers can get through it still on top of the division. This is a good team. Philip Rivers is putting up MVP numbers. If the Chargers continue to get production out of guys like Oliver, Eddie Royal, and Malcom Floyd, the Chargers will be just fine. The Chargers will go the way their offensive line goes at this point. Coach McCoy deserves a lot of credit keeping his fingers in the cracks of the dam that is the many injuries the Bolts have had this past month. The Chargers have showed us they can win in many ways. Here’s hoping they can continue the good mojo heading into a tougher part of their schedule.