Chargers 2022 Record Prediction – Comparison with ESPN FPI

Sunday morning and there was nothing new on BFTB for me to read while drinking my coffee. So… I decided to take a look at ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) predictions for every 2022 Charger game. A few interesting points about the FPI predictions:

· Overall record of 13-4, which is the same as I posted in my previous FP looking at the 2022 schedule

· FPI predicted losses to: Chiefs (game 1), Cardinals, Rams and Bronco’s (game 2)

· I predicted losses to: Raiders (game 1), Chiefs (game 1), Colts and Rams

· Both FPI and I predict a division record of 4-2

· FPI predicts a KC record of 12-5, which means the Chargers win the AFC-West for the first time in the Telesco/JS regime

· The average % Chargers win FPI prediction is 58.5%

· The largest % win is the week 3 game at home against the Jaguars (83.2%)

· The lowest % win is the week 2 Thursday night road game against KC (43%)

In my first FP, there was a lot of skepticism about the Chargers ability to get to 13 wins. As Charger fans, I think we have learned to be skeptical of this team, especially during the pre-season hype period. That said, I looked at each game in a vacuum rather than the season on aggregate. This is how I see each game:

Sun. Sept. 11 RAIDERS 1:25 pm

I hate that the Chargers first opponent is the Raiders. While I think McDaniels is an ass-hat and will ultimately fail as the Raiders HC, I do think he’s an innovative offensive mind and will have wrinkles the Chargers have not seen and will not expect. The Raiders will put up points on a Charger defense that is still learning to play together. If the Chargers trot out Norton or Pipkins at RT, Crosby will feast. The Chargers are clearly the better team, but, much like his time in Denver, I expect McDaniel will figure out how to win games early in his first season .

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 62.2%

Prediction: Chargers lose, 34-27

Projected Record: 0-1, FPI Record: 1-0

Thu. Sept. 15 @Chiefs 5:15 pm

Short week, prime-time game. Again, I think this schedule favors the Chiefs. I expect this game will be very close, but am struggling to pick the Chargers over the Chiefs on a short week.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 43%

Prediction: Chargers lose, 28-24

Projected Record: 0-2. FPI Record: 1-1

Sun. Sept. 25 JAGUARS 1:05pm

The Jaguars are no longer the worst team in the league, but they are not very good either. With the extra time to prepare and the disappointing start to the season, I think the Chargers will beat up on the Jaguars pretty good. This should be a game that Daniels/Stick enters the game mid-way through the 3rd quarter. The back of the defensive roster gives up one garbage time TD to prevent the shut-out.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 83.2%

Prediction: Chargers win, 42-7

Projected Record: 1-2. FPI Record: 2-1

Sun. Oct. 2 @Texans 10:00 am

Last year’s trip to Houston will be on everyone’s mind. Staley comes out with a defensive plan that shuts down the Texans. The defense and special teams each score. Another game where the backup QB enters the game early and RBs feast. Horvath scores his first TD

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 76%

Prediction: Chargers win, 45-0

Projected Record: 2-2. FPI Record: 3-1

Sun. Oct. 9 @Browns 10:00 am

I’m going to assume that Watson is suspended for this game. Even if he does find a way to play, I still think the Chargers are the better team and will take care of business on the road. The defense should be learning to play together and gaining confidence. The offense is starting to gel. After beating up on two bad teams, the Chargers handle a quality team on the road.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 50.2%

Prediction: Chargers win, 28-14

Projected Record: 3-2. FPI Record: 4-1

Mon. Oct. 17 BRONCOS 5:15 pm

While I think Wilson makes the Bronco’s better, there are a lot of question marks with a new coaching staff and a new HC that has never led a team at any level. Unlike the Raider game, there will be tape on the Bronco’s. The Chargers take care of business against the 3rd-best team in the AFC west.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 58.6%

Prediction: Chargers win, 31-17

Projected Record: 4-2. FPI Record: 5-1

Sun. Oct. 23 SEAHAWKS 1:25 pm

Not sure who will be playing QB for the Seahawks and I’m not sure it really matters. The Seahawks defense give Herbert some problems, but the Hawks can do nothing on offense and the Chargers cruise into their bye at 5-2

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 69.3%

Prediction: Chargers win, 24-9

Projected Record: 5-2. FPI Record: 6-1

Sun. Nov. 6 @Falcons

The Chargers travel to Atlanta after their bye to face a better-than-expected Falcon team. I love what Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot are doing in Atlanta, but they are simply out-classed by a much better Charger team. Another game where the defense feasts and the backup QB sees significant snaps.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 69.7%

Prediction: Chargers win, 38-10

Projected Record: 6-2. FPI Record: 7-1

Sun. Nov. 13 @49ers 5:20 pm

Not sure what to expect from the 9ers this year. I am not a huge Lance fan, but mobile, athletic QBs traditionally give the Chargers problems. I think the 49ers defense keeps this game close, but the Chargers win the battle of the Bosa brothers.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 54.4%

Prediction: Chargers win, 24-17

Projected record: 7-2. FPI Record: 8-1

Sun. Nov. 20 CHIEFS 1:25 pm

In a game that could determine who wins the AFC west, the Chargers avenge their week 2 loss to the Chiefs. The defense continues to improve, shuts down Kelce and Mahomes throws 2 ints. The Chargers pull ahead in the 3rd quarter with big plays and the defense shuts the door on a surprisingly not-close game. Pundits will point to this game as a "changing of the guard" in the AFC West.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 54.5%

Prediction: Chargers win, 31-17

Projected Record: 8-2. FPI Record: 9-1

Sun. Nov. 27 @Cardinals 1:05 pm

Getting Phoenix late in the season is a break for the Chargers. This game would have been much closer in early October. In late November, the Chargers pretty easily handle a talented but flawed Cardinal team. I expect Kyler will make plays (love watching that guy scramble around), but it’s not enough and there’s too much speed on this Charger defense for the Cardinals.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 48.3%

Prediction: Chargers win, 31-10

Projected Record: 9-2. FPI Record: 9-2

Sun. Dec. 4 @Raiders 1:25 pm

At this point in the season, I expect the Raiders will be crumbling and wondering why they picked McAsshole over Bisaccia. The Chargers exercise a few demons and beat up on a flawed Raider team. Carr will throw two picks and be sacked 6 times. The defense scores. Horvath scores. Spiller scores. Guyton scores. The backup QB throws a TD pass. Family. Trust. Respect.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 50% (Raiders 49.7%, Tie 0.3%)

Prediction: Chargers win, 51-0

Projected Record: 10-2. FPI Record: 10-2

Sun. Dec. 11 DOLPHINS 1:05 pm

The Dolphins should be improved this season but traveling across the country to play a Charger team with a 10-game winning streak will be too much to ask. Tua will make plays, but not nearly enough as the Chargers cruise to their 11th win in a row

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 65.6%

Prediction: Chargers win, 28-21

Projected Record: 11-2. FPI Record: 11-2

Sun. Dec. 18 TITANS 1:25 pm

The Titans will be a physical challenge. Playing at home for the second week in a row is a key advantage. The Chargers scoring early and forcing Tannehill to throw is a key to victory. Don’t want to see the Chargers defense having to stop Henry in the 4th quarter to win a game. I think the Chargers will do enough on offense to keep the defense fresh and force the Titans off their gameplan.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 62.7%

Prediction: Chargers win, 24-14

Projected Record: 12-2. FPI Record: 12-2

Mon. Dec. 26 @C o l t s 5:15 pm

Prime-time road game against an improved Colt team that will likely be fighting for a playoff spot. I think Matt Ryan is going to have a very good season with Reich in Indy. This will be a very close game. In the end, I think the Colts at home, fighting for the playoffs, find a way to win.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 51.4%

Prediction: Chargers lose, 27-24

Projected Record: 12-3. FPI Record: 13-2

Sun. Jan. 1 RAMS 5:20 pm

The "Battle for LA" will be a home game for both teams. Like the Colt game, this should be a close contest. Repeating as SB champs is very difficult to do in the NFL, but the Rams should continue to be very good. The key to success in this game is the Charger OL mitigating the very good Ram DL and Ekeler/Everett beating their coverage. Another close loss.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 49.5%

Prediction: Chargers lose, 34-31

Projected Record: 12-4. FPI Record: 13-3

Sun. Jan. 7/8 @Broncos

I expect the Bronco’s will be fighting for the last WC spot while the Chargers need to win to secure a 1st round playoff bye. The Chargers have too many playmakers on offense and too much speed on defense and outclass the Bronco’s and cruise into the #1 seed in the AFC.

ESPN FPI Charger Win %: 46.5%

Prediction: Chargers win, 35-10

Projected Record: 13-4. FPI Record: 13-4

Thoughts? I plan another update after the end of camp and likely one more prior to the start of the season.

This FanPost was written by a member of the Bolts From The Blue community and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bolts From The Blue editors or SB Nation.