The Chargers are going to spend some serious time in the air this year, and I am not talking about the passing game.
They are expected to fly 23,354 miles this season. That is good for seventh-most in the NFL. They also have two road games where they will travel over 2,000 miles! Those games include Week 7, where they will take on the Atlanta Falcons, and Week 14 against the Carolina Panthers.
How does this compare to 2015? The Bolts flew 24,274 miles, which was good for fifth in the NFL. They also had two road games where they traveled over 2,000 miles. A Week 8 loss in Baltimore, and a Week 12 win in Jacksonville gave the Bolts a .500 record in those games.
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To look at it deeper, the Chargers followed up the long road trip in Baltimore with a loss against the Bears at home in Week 9. The Bolts lost a close game, 22-19.
The Chargers also followed up the long road trip in Jacksonville with a home game against Denver in Week 13, where they lost 17-3. What does that tell us? It is rough coming of a long road trip, especially when it exceeds 2,000 miles of travel.
In 2016, weeks 6-8 may be a rough stretch for the Bolts. They take on the defending Super Bowl champions twice in a three-week stretch, with the Week 6 game being played at Qualcomm Stadium on Thursday Night Football. Following that game, they will travel 2,000 plus miles to take on Atlanta in Week 7, and then will again play the Broncos in Denver Week 8.
Out of the five teams that flew for the most miles in 2015, only the Seahawks made the playoffs.
These teams included the 49ers that flew for 27,998 miles, the Dolphins with 26,452 miles, the Raiders with 26,336, the Seahawks with 25,086 miles and the Chargers with 24,274 miles. Here are there 2015 records:
- San Francisco 49ers – 5-11
- Miami Dolphins – 6-10
- Oakland Raiders – 7-9
- Seattle Seahawks – 10-6
- San Diego Chargers – 4-12
Historically from 1997-2011, teams that traveled 2,000 miles or more for a road trip won only 39.8 percent of their games, according to Grantland.com.
To put a 2,000-mile trip into perspective, it is about a five-hour plane trip. Five hours on a plane is rough, especially when you are expected to play a game days after you land.