The toughest portion of the LA Chargers schedule is easily the first six weeks before the team's bye week and the Bolts have been killing it thus far. The Chargers are currently 4-1 and can cap off a red-hot start with a win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6.
Even a 4-2 record would be solid through six games but a 5-1 record would put the team in an excellent position to finish with 12+ wins and win the AFC West. If the Chargers can beat three of the top five teams in the AFC before their bye then they should be able to finish, at the worst, 7-4 down the stretch.
But as we all know, anything can happen in the NFL and a hot start does not mean anything. Heck, the last time the Chargers were in sole possession of first place was Week 7 of the 2011 season. The Chargers started that season 4-1 and finished 7-9.
This team feels different though and that team did not get out to a 5-1 start, which historically has been a good marker for a playoff team to reach.
What a 5-1 record would mean for the LA Chargers historically:
According to Stathead's record finder, there have been 174 teams since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 to start with a 5-1 record. Of those 174 teams, 82.2% (143) made the playoffs and 20 won the Super Bowl. Only 2 of those 174 teams finished with a losing record; the 1995 St. Louis Rams and 2008 Buffalo Bills.
Those two teams are a good example of an easy early schedule that was back-loaded with tough games. This is the opposite for the Chargers. This schedule is extremely front-loaded, making a potential 5-1 start even more impressive.
As crazy as it sounds, this would be only the third time since the merger that the LA Chargers started the season with a 5-1 record. The team started 5-1 in 1987, 2002 and 2014. Ironically enough, none of those teams made the playoffs, finishing 8-7, 8-8 and 9-7, respectively.
That means that just under 10% of the teams to miss the playoffs with a 5-1 start were Charger teams in the team's only three instances of starting that hot. Excellent.
While franchise history may not be on the Chargers' side, this is a Chargers team that is already breaking down old Chargers tropes and is winning games that they would lose in previous years. Heck, even Joey Bosa confirmed that he expected to blow games before and has much more confidence now.
This team is set up to break the trend, not just because the schedule is front-loaded, but because things legitimately feel different now. With seven playoff teams in each conference now, it would be legitimately shocking if the Bolts did not make the playoffs this season.
A 5-1 start would be massive and would extend the Bolts' winning streak to four games. With the Patriots, Eagles, Vikings, Steelers, Broncos, Bengals and Giants up next, it is not inconceivable that the Chargers have an 11-game win streak the next time they face off against Kansas City.
Chances are they will lose one of those games because that is how the NFL works, but it goes to show just how much the schedule eases up and how this win over the Ravens could trampoline the team into an insane run.