Despite losing to the two best teams in football, the Los Angeles Chargers have proven that they are, at least, the third best team in the AFC.
The Los Angeles Chargers are tied for the second-longest winning streak in the NFL at three games; a winning streak that could potentially span eight games if everything goes as planned for the teams.
Other teams with three-game winning streaks include the New England Patriots and Houston Texans. The New Orleans Saints have a four-game winning streak while the Los Angeles Rams are still a perfect 6-0.
The Chargers’ three-game winning streak has done huge things for the team’s stock in regards to the rest of the league. After starting the year 1-2, many assumed this was yet another slow start for a Charger team that would narrowly miss the playoffs.
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Now, the Chargers are just one game back of the Kansas City Chiefs for first place in the AFC West at 4-2 and join a crowded crop of 4-2 teams in the league. And while there is slew of 4-2 teams in the NFL, the Los Angeles Chargers are different.
To be fair, the four wins that the Chargers do have are not against the best competition. The Chargers have beaten the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns and a Jimmy Garoppolo-less San Francisco 49ers.
Meanwhile, the team’s two losses have come against the two best teams in the NFL, the Chiefs and Rams.
The quality of wins is not the Chargers’ fault, they have to play who the NFL puts in front of them and up until Sunday night, no other team in the league beat either of the teams they lost to. The manner in which the Chargers are winning, though, proves that LA is one of the best teams in the AFC.
I would say that only the Patriots and Chiefs are atop the Chargers in the AFC status quo. Teams like the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and the stalemate that is the AFC South don’t have the firepower that LA has.
The Chiefs and Steelers are the only two AFC teams with more offensive yards per game and both teams allow more yards per game defensively than the Chargers.
The Chiefs and Patriots are the only two AFC teams with more points scored than the Chargers’ 175. New England has scored 176 points and the Chiefs have scored 215 points. Los Angeles has a better point differential than the Patriots as well.
And even that is a skewed number as the Chargers could have likely scored more points if the team did not take the foot off the gas against the Raiders and Bills. If those were close games, which they obviously were not, the Chargers could have scored 10 more points in each contest.
The defense has been right around league average this season without Joey Bosa on the field. The second that Bosa comes back to the defensive line the defense is going to see a huge bump. Quarterbacks will begin to see more pressure and the Chargers will turn from an average defense into a top-10 defense.
And just in terms of pure firepower, it is hard to make an argument against LA. Philip Rivers is piecing together one of his best seasons with weapons in Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams in the receiving corps.
The offensive line has been solid and running back Melvin Gordon is arguably the third-best running back in the NFL this season. Austin Ekeler is about as good as it gets as a backup running back and the defense has playmakers galore.
With all of those weapons, the Los Angeles Chargers really can go toe-to-toe with any team in the NFL.