The LA Chargers were unable to move to 7-5 on the season in Week 13 as the team lost an ugly game against the Las Vegas Raiders. While a 6-6 record might not seem like the most horrible thing, this loss drastically hurts the team's playoff chances and rightfully upset the entire fanbase.
The Chargers may have a 6-6 record but as we have learned in the NFL, records can be deceiving. The Bolts have one of the most deceiving records in the entire league as they really should not be 6-6 this season. Los Angeles has caught just about every luck break possible to stay at the .500 mark after 12 weeks.
In reality, when you take a look under the hood at this team, it is clear that this is a losing football team. In fact, while there is a big record difference between the two teams, the 2022 Chargers are just a second coming of the 2020 Chargers. And that is saying something.
The 2022 Chargers vs the 2020 Chargers:
The 2020 Chargers finished the season with a 7-9 record and through 12 games were 3-9. That might seem like a massive difference from this Chargers team but that just showcases how lucky the 2022 Chargers have gotten in key spots this season.
There are four small changes you could make to the Chargers this season that could make them a 2-10 or 2-9-1 team. As for the team's losses, the only game where you could do the same thing would be the first Chiefs' game with the overturned interceptions. Aside from that, all of the Chargers' losses have been definitive while four of the team's six wins have been quite lucky.
Ironically enough, the 2020 Chargers were the opposite story. That was a team that was not getting these same 50/50 breaks and was getting the bad end of each situation.
There was the failed hook-and-ladder where Austin Ekeler dropped an easy touchdown, the first Denver game coming down to the final play, Donald Parham barely dropping the game-winning touchdown against Vegas and the missed field goal at the end of regulation that would have beaten the Saints.
If the 2020 Chargers had the same kind of close game luck that the 2022 Chargers have then they would have been 7-5 after 12 games. That would not have changed the fact that they were not a very good football team. A 6-6 record does not change the fact that the 2022 team isn't very good, either.
The 2020 Chargers scored 24 points per game and allowed 26.6 points. They ranked 26th in overall DVOA, 15th in offense and 20th in defense. The 2022 Chargers score 22.7 points per game and allow 25.8 points per game. They rank 26th in overall DVOA, 25th offense and 23rd in defense.
The only big difference is special teams, where the 2020 Chargers were historically bad and the 2022 Chargers are quite good. If the 2020 Chargers had the 2022 special teams unit then they would blow this 2022 team out of the water.
Despite being a .500 team, the Chargers' point differential currently sits at -37. The 2020 team, with a 3-9 record through 12 games, had a -68 point differential. However, that also included a 45-0 loss in Week 13. Before that, the Chargers were at -23 through 11 games, which was better than the 2022 Chargers through 11 games.
Somehow this team has gone backward. Yes, injuries have played a big role in all of this and that cannot go without mentioning. Every team is going to struggle with the injuries that the Chargers have suffered this season.
But the problem is the way the team approaches the game and how these injuries haven't changed the mindset, the philosophy, the way that they attack the game. Every week it is the same old song and dance and quite frankly, it has been painful to watch.