It is safe to say that there is a lot of excitement for the LA Chargers in 2021. Even though the team went 7-9 last year, the Chargers feel like a legitimate playoff team and to some they are even considered to be Super Bowl dark horses.
The Chargers are going to have to prove it on the field before I can buy into that Super Bowl dark horse narrative but there is still some truth to that statement. Super Bowl-winning teams have a lot of common and most of the recent champions had three distinct pillars that led to their success.
Of course, it is different year-over-year and one of the biggest signs of success is simply having Tom Brady. But even then, we can find a common denominator with Brady’s teams as well as the teams he has lost to or faced in the Super Bowl.
We can definitely say that the Chargers have two of the three necessary pillars and the third is still up in the air, but possible.
LA Chargers Super Bowl pillar 1: A star quarterback (preferably on their rookie deal)
The LA Chargers are led by Justin Herbert and that alone is the first step to being a Super Bowl-winning team. Quarterbacks are obviously the backbone of a team’s success but it is more than just having a great quarterback. Having that quarterback on their rookie contract is huge.
This allows the team to surround the quarterback with weapons and assets (like Corey Linsley) as they are not yet paying the hefty salary given to star quarterbacks. This is a massive advantage in building a roster and we have seen so many examples of this happen in recent years.
Patrick Mahomes is the highest-paid player in the sport now but the team won its Super Bowl while he was still on his rookie deal. The Los Angeles Rams made it before Jared Goff was overpaid, the Philadelphia Eagles won while Carson Wentz was on his rookie deal, the Seattle Seahawks made their two trips on Russell Wilson’s rookie deal… you get the point.