The Los Angeles Chargers are going to finish the 2017 season with an impressive 10-6 record. At least, that’s the way that Pro Football Focus sees it.
PFF posted its annual win-loss record predictions for every team in the league and and as far as the AFC goes, only three teams are picked to finish higher. Those teams would be the New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers. Many of the oddsmakers out there are going to lean favorably to those three teams but the Chargers? No one is going to pick the Chargers.
But PFF is showing the Bolts some respect, picking them to finish the season at 10-6 and earn the No. 4 seed in the AFC. That would mean a playoff berth and at least one home playoff game. Going off the rest of the predictions made by PFF, that playoff game would be against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are picked to finish below the Chargers in this particular set of predictions.
It’s exciting to see that someone out there recognizes the talent on this team and though the AFC West is going to be tough, the roster in Los Angeles is as good as anywhere.
That said, 10 wins is more than this team has won in the last two seasons combined. Anthony Lynn is a rookie head coach and the team will be playing in an unfamiliar setting. Does 10 wins sound a little bit too optimistic?
In addition to playing against the AFC West teams two times, the Chargers will also face the four teams from the NFC East this season. Though PFF doesn’t indicate which six games it feels the Chargers will lose. Either way, the team faces a tough schedule this year.
It will be tough to find any reputable sports outlets predicting the Chargers to finish this well. Jonathan Jones of SI.com talks about the bias many local beat writers place on their predictions before making his own set of predictions. He the Chiefs, Raiders and Denver Broncos all finishing the season at 11-5. Then he has the Chargers at 7-8-1.
Yes, this guy actually projects a tie. He picks that to happen in what he calls the Chargers’ most pivotal game in Week 11 against the Buffalo Bills.
Yes, local beat writers likely show a little bias. Eric Williams of ESPN.com may have been doing that when he predicted that the Chargers would finish 9-7 this year. However, PFF has no reason to show any bias toward the Chargers.
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So, are they just throwing darts or do the folks over there have good reason to believe the Chargers are the fourth-best team in the AFC?