The LA Chargers very well could finish the 2020 season on a four-game winning streak.
The LA Chargers‘ 2020 season has been massively disappointing. The team received an unexpected jolt of energy from Justin Herbert, who is quite literally having the best rookie season by a quarterback in NFL history.
Despite this, the Chargers could not string together many wins and currently stand with a 5-9 record. That is an inflated record from two weeks ago, when the Chargers had the fourth overall pick in the draft with a 3-9 record.
Then they won two games in four days, jumping their draft pick from the fourth overall pick to the ninth overall pick (and ruining our old mock drafts as a result).
MUST-READ: Chargers mock draft after falling to nine
The Chargers may continue to ruin our mock drafts as well as they have two more games on the schedule that are suddenly both very winnable. Two weeks ago we would have said that a 7-9 record was absolutely impossible. Now, it might be fairly likely.
Let’s break down the two games remaining.
Week 16 vs. Denver Broncos
The LA Chargers almost beat the Denver Broncos in Denver earlier this season, and quite frankly, they should have. Justin Herbert threw a costly pick in the endzone that shifted the game late and the defense had its worse half of the season, allowing 28 points in the second half to the second-worst offense (at the time) in the league.
All that and it still came down to the wire with Drew Lock completing a pass at the end of regulation to win the game. That was after Brandon Facyson gifted them another play with a costly pass interference and without Joey Bosa on the field, as he suffered a concussion in that game.
Bosa might not play (and should not play) the rest of the season as he is yet again in concussion protocol but I do not think that changes the result. At home, indoors (Justin Herbert’s best games come indoors) and with Austin Ekeler back, I just cannot see how Denver can keep up with the Charger offense.
Of course, they are the Chargers are there is always the chance that they mess things up, but on paper, this should be a relatively easy victory.
Week 17 at Kansas City Chiefs
I know we like to be optimistic about the LA Chargers and their ability to contain the Chiefs better than other teams but with the way the Chiefs are playing right now, there is no way we can expect a Charger win over a full-strength Chiefs team.
But that is just the thing: there is now a chance that the Chargers get the Chiefs’ second-stringers in Week 17 and they can thank the Cincinnati Bengals for that.
The Bengals shockingly defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night to give the Steelers their third loss in a row. Now, the team that had firm control of a first-round bye in the NFL Playoffs has an extreme uphill battle to climb.
At 14-1, with the Steelers now 11-3, all the Chiefs need is either a win in Week 16 over the Atlanta Falcons (that should be a given) or a Pittsburgh loss against Philip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts (which is also possible).
Thus, the Chiefs may not have anything to play for in Week 17. There is the argument about rest vs. rust and whether or not the team should allow its starters to sit for two weeks, but at the absolute most, the Chiefs starters will likely only play a half.
This is the first time in the Patrick Mahomes-era that the Chiefs actually do not have anything to play for in Week 17, so we have no precedent on the matter. However, it is common for dominant teams to just get through Week 17 and make sure their guys are healthy.
For that reason, the LA Chargers actually have a fairly good chance of winning that game in Arrowhead, moving their record to 7-9 and their draft position into the teens.
But hey, at least Justin Herbert will get some wins under his belt to build into next season.