Reason No. 3: Chargers and the seventh seed
The Chargers, like all other teams, will have an increased shot to make the playoffs with the new seventh seed. An extra playoff spot is being added to each conference, and that has to help Los Angeles at least a little bit.
Think about how many times over the last decade the Chargers were the first team on the outside, looking in. 2017 was the most recent time this happened, where the Chargers got shafted on tiebreakers despite heating up at the right time. Ironically, Los Angeles missed out on the playoffs that year because of… Tyrod Taylor’s Buffalo Bills.
We know the Chiefs, barring some unforeseen circumstance, are winning the division. The route to the playoffs for the Chargers, as well as the other AFC West teams, is through the Wild Card. As long as the Chargers can play 9-7 or 8-8 style football, they’ll be in a decent position to make a push.
That’s not that hard to do with an OK quarterback and a stacked defense.
The Chargers schedule does get tougher towards the end of the season, but it starts out pretty well. Five of their first eight games are against the New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, and Cincinnati Bengals. No one should assume all of those games are wins, but it’s an easier start to the schedule compared to some other teams. Starting with that quick momentum out of the gate gives the team a better chance to finish strong.
If Taylor can string together some decent starts at the beginning of the season, it’s easier to see him playing well towards the end. L.A.’s schedule affords him that opportunity with the first eight games. An extra Wild Card plus a decent schedule to help the Chargers’ playoff efforts drastically.