Leave it to the Los Angeles Chargers to get our hopes up.
After starting the season 0-4 and looking like a front runner for the top pick in the draft, they go and string together two victories. Sitting at 2-4 is nothing to brag about. It is still a dreadful record, but if you look at the AFC, nobody else other than the Kansas City Chiefs are running away with this thing. At the start of the season I would have said that you would need 10 wins to get a Wild Card spot, but at Week 6 it looks like nine wins may get you there. Can the Chargers go 7-3 the rest of the season?
Reasons why the Chargers can get to the playoffs
1. The Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos both appear to be struggling. The Broncos crushed the New York Giants statistically on Sunday but lost by a big margin. Trevor Siemian didn’t look like the Pro Bowler he had been playing like. And they will be without Emmanuel Sanders for a couple of games.
The Raiders played like the Chargers on Sunday. A missed extra point, an interception in the red zone and lots of penalties to negate big gains. Seriously that has been the Chargers undoing all year. I did not expect the Raiders to pull a Chargers on Sunday but they did.
2. The schedule. Most of us thought that if the Chargers could get to the bye at .500 they would be in good shape to make the playoffs. The second half of the Chargers schedule appears to be much easier than the first half. If the Chargers can take care of a reeling Broncos team on Sunday and pull off an upset in Foxborough a week later, there will much to be excited about.
3. Melvin Gordon. The dude has put this team on his back.
4. Hunter Henry is finally getting touches over Antonio Gates. I love Antonio, but he is done. He looks slow on the field. It’s time for him to hang it up and the time for Hunter is NOW.
5. The rest of the AFC. There are only three teams right now with more than 3 wins – Chiefs, New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. This is a wide open race.
Reasons why this is a pipe dream
1. The soft middle. The linebackers lack talent. They struggle with reading plays, in coverage and with tackling. Denzel Perryman will be a huge boost when he returns but right now this area is a huge weakness.
2. The soft middle part 2. The Chargers’ safeties are dreadful. They are poor at tackling and poor in coverage.
3. The offensive line is still struggling. Even after what was the Chargers best run blocking of the year and the offensive line’s best game, there are still real concerns with this unit. They are the main reason the Chargers are stalling out on so many drives. It seems only a matter of time before this unit gives up a negative play and puts the Chargers in a hole.
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4. Mistakes. The Chargers had plenty of their own dumb plays in Sunday’s game – An unnecessary block in the back that negated an interception return, a failure to secure the ball that led to a fumble, a missed field goal, dreadful special teams play and several big plays given up by the defense.
As a fan I am hopeful that the Chargers can pull off a miracle this year. I hope that the offensive line continues to improve and that when Perryman returns the defense will take a huge step forward in stopping the run.
What do you fans think? Do the Chargers have a chance?