In my previous prediction piece I had the San Diego Chargers at 13-3. That was a best case scenario and it’s time to bring their record down to earth.
There have been lots of offseason moves to make the defense better and solidify the offensive line. Will it be enough to make the playoffs? We shall see.
Week 1 has the Chargers season opener on Monday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are a tough defense and it gives the offense a good challenge. With Carson Palmer on the decline, it will be a great coming out party for the new Chargers defense. 1-0
Week 2 sees the Seattle Seahawks coming in to Qualcomn Stadium. Seattle will be hot coming off of their Super Bowl win and will be on a mission to steam roll every team. The Chargers might be able to hold the Seahawks offense but their defense may be too much for Phillip Rivers and his crew. 1-1
Week 3 has the Chargers at the Buffalo Bills. This will be the start of a streak of winnable games that the Chargers will need. The Bills are not strong on offense or defense which allows the Chargers to gain some momentum. 2-1
Week 4 has Jacksonville Jaguars coming to San Diego. The Jaguars are similar to the Bills and the Chargers will have no issue getting the win at home. 3-1
Week 5 has the New York Jets coming to San Diego. The Jets defense is improved and can challenge the Chargers offense. The Jets do not have the offense to match the Chargers defense and so the chants of a Super Bowl begin very early in the season. 4-1
Week 6 moves the Chargers to the Oakland Raiders. Oakland is on pace to have one of their worst seasons. They are a team that is looking to move from their city and the Chargers will knock them out of the way as they look forward to Kansas City next week. 5-1
Week 7 bring the Kansas City Chiefs to San Diego. The Chiefs under Andy Reid were a surprise team last season. The Chargers were able to solve the Chiefs formula and they will take care of business at home. 6-1
Week 8 brings the Chargers to Denver on a Thursday night game. The Chargers will have a short week to prepare especially coming off a division rival game. The Broncos will be coming off of a game against the 49ers so it comes down to who is more fatigued. I give the slight edge to Denver because they are at home. 6-2
Week 9 brings the Chargers to the Miami Dolphins. They will be angry and fresh after the Thursday night game against Denver. The Dolphins are a perfect team to bounce back against and get a win before the bye week. 7-2
Week 10 has the Chargers bye week. Right now, they are 2nd in the AFC West and 5th in the playoff race.
Week 11 sees Oakland coming to San Diego. San Diego rolls over the Raiders after a bye week which clinches the Raiders for a top 5 NFL Draft pick. 8-2
Week 12 brings the St. Louis Rams to San Diego. The Rams are a tough NFC West defense but Sam Bradford is not having a good season and he will be the factor in the Chargers’ defense attack. The defense comes up big with 3 interceptions leading them to a win. 9-2
Week 13 is the start of the Chargers hard schedule skid. They will be at Baltimore this week. Baltimore is fighting for the AFC North division and they beat the Chargers. San Diego begins a long decline to a bubble wild card team. 9-3
Week 14 brings the New England Patriots to San Diego. The Patriots are out to get as many wins as possible to lock up home field advantage. The Chargers lose to a Patriots team and San Diego begins to question if their team is making it into the playoffs. 9-4
Week 15 brings Denver to San Diego. The Chargers regroup and take down the Broncos at home to split the series. The game came down to the wire and NFL fans everywhere pray that these two teams meet again in the playoffs. 10-4
Week 16 moves the Chargers to San Francisco against the 49ers. The 49ers are looking to get the #1 seed in the NFC and continue to play well in their brand new stadium. The Chargers lose to the better team and are locked with 6 teams for the wild card. 10-5
Week 17 has the Chargers finishing their season in Kansas City. Arrowhead Stadium is loud and this game is low scoring. It takes a last minute drive by Phillip Rivers and a touchdown to Keenan Allen sends the Chargers into the playoffs with an 11-6 record.
The pathway to the Super Bowl will be Colts, Broncos, and Patriots for the Chargers. It’ll be tough but anything can happen in the playoffs. If the defense stays healthy then that offense can be fresh and rested for scoring drives.
I will have one more prediction piece before the season starts. It will depend on how the team looks in the preseason.