The Los Angeles Chargers have lost two straight after an exciting 4-1 start to the season, but they are looking at a favorable stretch of games throughout the month of November. This is still clearly a playoff-caliber team even if they currently occupy the last spot in the AFC postseason picture. The Chargers could easily take control of the AFC West and secure a top four-seed by the seasons end.
That all starts this month, and LA has the potential to turn things around in a big way. Just one of their November opponents currently has a winning record, and that matchup is weeks away. It's fully possible that the Chargers go 4-0 this month and leave this two-game bump in the road all behind as they climb the standings.
November Schedule: 11/7 at Philadelphia Eagles, 11/14 vs. Minnesota Vikings, 11/21 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 11/28 at Denver Broncos.
Here is how the LA Chargers can go undefeated in November and guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs.
How Chargers can win vs. Eagles in Week 9
The Chargers first task in November is taking down the 3-5 Philadelphia Eagles.
What might have seemed like an easy victory a few weeks ago is now a much more formidable test. LA is sulking at their lowest point of the season, and Philadelphia is riding the high of a 44-6 decimation of Detroit. With the momentum favoring the Eagles, the Bolts are going to have to play a complete game to start the month off 1-0.
Their first assignment against Philly is to slow the run. LA's painfully performing run defense took a big step forward in last week's loss to New England, and they need to stay with that upward trend. The return of Justin Jones provided a boost last week that should continue into this week, but effectively stopping the run has to involve finding a way to take pressure off of Joey Bosa. If the Chargers can put some of these piece together to slow down the Eagles rushing attack, their odds of winning this game skyrocket.
On the other side of the ball, the answer is even simpler: free Justin Herbert. The young QB has been handcuffed by conservative play-calling and questionable game strategy from his coaches. Philadelphia does boast pretty good stats in the secondary, but a 2021 Patrick Mahomes put up five passing touchdowns on them just a few weeks ago. So, it's possible to break them down. Brandon Staley and Joe Lombardi need to trust Herbert enough to go for the big play on first-down and be aggressive in attacking the end zone. There just has to be more action through the air on Sunday.
In order to go 4-0 in November, the Chargers can't afford to just win. They have to pull off a convincing victory on the road to give them confidence going into the rest of the month. Barely scraping by with a win here won't be enough to propel them into a four-game hot streak. If LA can clean up the run defense and open the field up to Herbert, this game is ending in a lopsided victory.