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Chargers exceeding expectations despite rough landing into bye week

Just some ramblings from someone who probably feels the same way you do.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

If you would have asked anyone prior to the start of the season what the Chargers’ record would be when they entered the bye week, they would have likely said 2-4 or 3-3 if they were erring on the side of optimism. I personally said on several occasions that if the Chargers started .500 that that would be a win due to the drop-off in difficulty of the remaining schedule.

But lo and behold, the Chargers are 4-2 with wins over the Chiefs, Raiders, and Browns. So not only are they among the AFC’s best, they’ve started the year 2-0 in the division which can’t be understated based on how the past few seasons have shaken out.

Prior to the Ravens game, ESPN’s Mike Clay posted a spreadsheet that ranked all 32 teams in terms of their remaining strength-of-schedule. The Chargers were ranked near the top with the fourth-easiest remaining stretch of games. Now that the Ravens have come and gone, it’s easy to feel optimistic about where their strength-of-schedule stands at the moment.

The team’s performance against the Ravens was disheartening, to say the least. It’s easy to lose yourself in the plethora of bad play that we all just witnessed, but that’s not fair to the same team that showed us an immense amount of fight and grit during their wins over two other AFC powers in Kansas City and Cleveland.

At the same time, it’s all incredibly fair to voice concerns about the team’s obvious shortcomings!

The run defense is ATROCIOUS! It’s the league’s worst unit and it’s been more than apparent just how that issue can cost this team games. When this team makes the playoffs, I promise that this defense will run right back into one of these teams who will be trotting out a top rushing attack. So before that moment, it would be in the Chargers’ best interest to make some kind of move to improve the unit.

The special teams are also still pretty bad! Whether it’s the coverage units or the team’s own returners, there’s nothing to be positive about. As long as they continue to allow less-than-average athletes return kickoffs and punts, they can’t hope to improve in that phase, either!

See? It’s okay to vent! There’s some pretty obvious things that are worth venting about!

But after we’re done fuming, we have to have to be able to put this whole thing into the correct light.

“Their latest performance was really bad!”

But, their 4-1 and have proven they are a top team in the conference.

“Justin Herbert looked really off today! What happened?”

Everyone is due for an off-game. Just look at the Packers in week one.

“The Chargers were really bad on third and fourth downs today!

While their consistency has been great through the first five weeks, it’s also fairly unsustainable. This should have been expected at some point.

So after all of this, I just want to stress again that while it’s easy to feel spoiled from all the positive attention this team has been receiving lately, this one loss does not define the entire season. The Chargers have still exceeded most of our expectations up to this point and I believe they’ll continue this trend through the remainder of the year.

I know old habits die hard, but let’s fight like hell to keep things in perspective.

Get through this rough loss the only way you know how and then let’s bounce back during the bye.