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The Chargers traveled farther than almost anyone in 2018

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NFL: International Series-Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Given the size of the United States and the spread of the National Football League’s franchises, it is unavoidable that some teams will travel much farther than others, and this has become even more pronounced with the addition of in-season games played in London, England. In most years, most of the teams that will amass the most air miles play in either the AFC or NFC West. This year was no different with the top three teams in distance traversed were West Coast teams. Iceland Air provided the data:

Team Mileage Difference Win PCT
Raiders 31,732 16,137 .250
Seahawks 29,068 13,473 .625
Chargers 29,055 13,460 .750
Jaguars 20,278 4,683 .313
Eagles 20,262 4,667 .563
Rams 19,594 3,999 .813
Dolphins 18,532 2,937 .438
49ers 18,354 2,759 .250
Chiefs 17,936 2,341 .750
Texans 17,608 2,013 .688
Titans 16,804 1,209 .563
Cowboys 16,404 809 .625
Broncos 16,134 539 .375
Cardinals 15,724 129 .188
Giants 15,054 -541 .313
Lions 14,486 -1,109 .375
Vikings 14,328 -1,267 .531
Browns 13,888 -1,707 .469
Steelers 13,180 -2,415 .594
Redskins 12,936 -2,659 .438
Packers 12,890 -2,705 .406
Bears 12,836 -2,759 .750
Colts 12,560 -3,035 .625
Buccaneers 11,908 -3,687 .313
Saints 11,834 -3,761 .813
Ravens 11,548 -4,047 .625
Patriots 11,042 -4,553 .688
Bills 10,222 -5,373 .375
Jets 9,358 -6,237 .250
Bengals 8,308 -7,287 .375
Falcons 8,250 -7,345 .438
Panthers 6,938 -8,657 .438

The Oakland Raiders topped the table and were also among the least talented and most poorly coached squads in The League. They, unsurprisingly, finished the season with one of the NFL’s worst records. The Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle Seahawks both traveled nearly as far as the lowly Raiders, but they were able to overcome the challenges of travel in no small part thanks to not being coached by the likes of Jon Gruden but instead by Coach of the Year candidates in Anthony Lynn and Pete Carroll.

Though talented, well-coached teams are regularly able to succeed in spite of excessive travel, it does still seem to be less than fair that teams like the Chargers have to travel some 20,000 more miles than other teams in the same league. That is unlikely to change any time soon, though, so hopefully the Chargers will continue to find ways to make do.