The San Diego Chargers have begun the season at 2-3. They beat the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles, but lost to the Houston Texans, the Tennessee Titans, and the Oakland Raiders. Looking at who they have beat and lost to, it looks as if the Chargers have had a pretty bad season. However, the losses to the Texans and Titans could have gone either way and for most of the game, the Chargers were the better team. Unfortunately, the Chargers were beat by a terrible Raiders team last week, begging the question can the Chargers actually compete.
The answer to that question is a maybe. After five weeks, most teams have shown what their level of play is going to be like for the rest of season. Even within the AFC West, the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs have shown they are some of the best teams in football and are almost locks for playoff spots. On the other end, the Raiders have shown that they really don’t have what it takes to be a contender this season.
Then come the Chargers. Week one alone showed how this team is very two-faced. In the first half the Chargers absolutely destroyed the Texans, but in the second they didn’t have a single productive play. In week two, they didn’t dominate, but successfully beat the Eagles in Philadelphia. This was followed by week three and four, examples of both the mediocre Chargers and then the contender Chargers respectively.
Week five however, was a major disappointment to fans as the Bolts lost to the Raiders. This game was a major warning sign for the Chargers because not only did the defense get beat by quarterback Terrell Pryor, but the San Diego offense looked as bad as it did last year. Philip Rivers threw three interceptions compared to two touchdowns and the Chargers offensive line was consistently beat by the Raiders defensive line.
If the team plays like they did against the Raiders, the Chargers will be lucky to win four more games. Teams with remotely good defenses will get to Rivers in seconds and the Bolts defense as already been giving up at least 20 points a game. On the other hand, if the Chargers that played the Cowboys come out every week, the team could win 7-8 more games and make the playoffs as a wild card. That team may give up points, but will be able to outscore their opponents. Realistically, the team will continue to be inconsistent and probably win 5-6 games. With an 8-8 record, the Bolts could make a wild card spot, but with the current competition in the AFC it looks like that won’t be enough.
The major factor that will determine what team the Chargers bring each Sunday is Rivers. If he plays smart football like in the first four weeks of the season then the team will be just fine. If, however, he continues this most recent trend, the Chargers will be no better off then last season.