The LA Chargers have dealt with more injuries than any team in the NFL this season. It has been a typical Chargers season for the team to have an insane injury bug in the year that many fans were touting as the most anticipated season of all time.
Despite all of the adversity that the team has faced, the Bolts still own a 5-3 record after defeating the Atlanta Falcons in Week 9. That puts the Chargers right in the thick of the AFC playoff picture in a league that has showcased more parity than ever before.
Some fans still are not buying into the 5-3 Chargers, though. The team has been blown out twice and does not have a single definitive win to its name. The Chargers rank 22nd in average point margin, which is worse than the Las Vegas Raiders, who rank 21st.
The 5-3 record might seem like a mirage but when it all boils down to it, this is probably the record that the Chargers should have. All the of horrible injury luck that the team has suffered this season has been countered with insanely positive in-game luck. The Bolts shouldn't be better, they shouldn't be worse. They are right where they should be.
The insane in-game luck that has helped the LA Chargers this season:
Of the five wins the team has this season, three were a proponent of some lucky breaks. The Week 1 win against the Las Vegas Raiders did not have luck as the defense showed up with multiple turnovers to secure the victory. LA's win over the Houston Texans was also not luck, as they were the better team throughout.
In fact, the Texans were the ones who were lucky in that game as DeAndre Carter's fumble on the kickoff was the only reason why they even had a chance of winning. If that doesn't happen then the Chargers win by 13-17 points.
However, the Browns, Broncos and Falcons wins all certainly had luck involved bestowed down by the football gods to pay the Chargers back for all of the injuries that they suffered this season. Without this luck, the Chargers would be 2-6. But without the injuries, they wouldn't have needed the luck to begin with.
It started with Cade York, who missed two field goals against the Chargers including a 54-yard game-winner that kept Brandon Staley's seat from getting very hot. Staley made a bold call to go for it on fourth down from Browns territory late in the game, esentially gifting a game-winning field goal attempt to Cleveland.
Thankfully, York missed.
Against Denver, it took a heads up special teams play late in overtime to secure the win. Ja'Sir Taylor made a heads-up play and pushed the Broncos' punt blocker into the return to force a muffed punt, giving the Chargers the ball in field goal range.
This is the least lucky of the examples as it took a heads-up play by Taylor but you still don't see things like this happen very often. The Chargers are lucky that the Broncos decided to send a blocker right in front of the return man for Taylor to push.
Finally, there were several examples of luck (both good and bad) against the Falcons. The Chargers were lucky that Marcus Mariota overthrew an open deep receiver multiple times, or that Younghoe Koo missed a field goal in the second half. However, they were also unlucky that Joshua Palmer and Gerald Everett had two insanely untimely drops.
Most of all, though, the Chargers were lucky that Austin Ekeler's late-game fumble did not cost them. That fumble really should have, at least, sent the game to overtime but Atlanta made the rare play of fumbling the ball right back to the Chargers. Justin Herbert made the most of that luck, delivering a seed to Palmer to essentially win the game.
It is easy to complain about the bad injury luck while it is easy to forget about the breaks that the Chargers have gotten this year that they typically don't. At the end of the day, a 5-3 record is the perfect mark for this team, injuries or not.