Members of the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles are preparing to go to battle in Super Bowl LII. One year from now, the Los Angeles Chargers look to do the same.
Winning the Super Bowl puts a team in a very exclusive group of teams. Much like the NBA, only a select group of teams have actually won the Super Bowl. 13 of the league’s 32 teams have claimed to be World Champions. The New England Patriots are appearing in their fourth Super Bowl since the turn of the decade. 19 teams have made the Super Bowl less time than that in their franchise history.
The Los Angeles Chargers are one of those 19 teams.
Los Angeles (then San Diego) has only made one Super Bowl in franchise history. That Super Bowl berth came before I was even born in 1994. Junior Seau, Leslie O’Neal and running back Natrone Means led the Chargers to their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.
San Diego went 11-5 in the regular season. They defeated the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers by a combined five points to face the juggernaut 49ers led by Steve Young and Jerry Rice. The Chargers lost the highest scoring Super Bowl ever 49-26. They have not been back since.
For the first time in perhaps a decade, the Los Angeles Chargers actually have enough talent to make a Super Bowl run once more. Many were picking the Chargers as dark horses to dethrone the Patriots in the AFC. If it wasn’t for two muffed field goals and a blown lead in Jacksonville, a 12-4 record likely would have seen them square off against the Patriots in the Divisional Round.
However, that was not the case. The Chargers lost a three-team tiebreaker at 9-7, missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
Now, what must the Chargers do to make a run for Super Bowl LII in Atlanta next season?