The Chargers were lucky — or not so lucky, depending on how you view it — to have their bye week come early this year with the team struggling to manage a number of injuries to their starters.
With 13 consecutive games remaining to finish out the regular season, the Chargers are going to have to find a way to gut it out if they hope to make it back to the postseason. The road isn’t pretty by any means, either. The Chargers must face the remaining three teams in the AFC East, along with dates against the Ravens and Lions.
In all, the combined record of the Chargers remaining opponents (counting the Chiefs and Broncos twice) is exactly 30-30. Right smack-dab at .500.
Let’s go ahead and take a step back and look at the Chargers’ remaining schedule along with each team’s record entering Week Six.
The Cowboys are coming off a very humbling 42-10 loss to the 49ers this past Sunday night. Kyle Shanahan and Brock Purdy had their way with the Dallas defense all game. Remember, this was the team that held both New York football teams to 10 total points while they scored 70. Since, the Cowboys have lost two of their past three games, including a loss to the Cardinals who are seemingly one of the worst rosters in the NFL. Their third win came against the lowly Patriots. This doesn’t look like an easy game but I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see the Chargers win here.
Chiefs x2 (4-1)
I’m going to keep this simple because we have enough evidence to know how this game is likely going to go. The Chargers will keep it close and likely even lead at times. They still can’t consistently finish games, especially against the Chiefs. It comes down to this: If the Chargers ever want to leapfrog the Chiefs in the division, they have to come together and decide enough is enough. Until they snatch the division from Kansas City, they’ll continue to play second fiddle.
The Bears offense has looked better but the defense has been the bigger issue. History tells me the Chargers will see the lesser version of Justin Fields over the one that has been crushing it the past few weeks. At least, that’s what we should hope for.
It’s still insane how short-lived Aaron Rodgers’ 2023 season was. It’s about as depressing as it gets. But, it means the Chargers don’t have to face him and that leaves the biggest hurdle being New York’s defense. If the Chargers remain healthy and play up to their standard, this should be one of their easier wins.
It’s honestly quite frustrating to watch the Lions have a quicker and more ferocious turnaround than the Chargers. The Lions had no pieces to build off of just a few years ago before they traded away Matthew Stafford. Now they’re 4-1 and a force to be reckoned with. Call it coaching. Call it luck. This is what it looks like when a team collectively comes together, buys in the message of the coaching staff, and works their tail off.
The Jordan Love era started on a high-ish note but has fallen off in recent weeks. They just fell to the Raiders behind a poor offensive showing. This is another game the Chargers should win handedly.
I don’t like playing the Ravens because John Harbaugh has shown to be the better and more experienced coach when he’s faced Brandon Staley. I also don’t enjoy watching the Chargers attempt to corral Lamar Jackson in the backfield. This should be a tough game and one of the more exciting matchups on the remaining schedule.
Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Bill Belichick is in unfamiliar water with a 1-4 record and a massive quarterback situation on his hands. Mac Jones hasn’t looked great and he’s been benched in two different games. Yet, Jones is still the guy for the Patriots according to to his head coach. I will never count out the Patriots when they play the Chargers, but on the face, this looks like one of the more winnable games left on the schedule.
Broncos x2 (1-4)
The start of Sean Payton’s tenure with the Broncos has gone a whole lot different than many probably expected. The former Saints head coach came out of retirement only to watch his defense — the one side of the ball with the most proven potential — be quite underwhelming. At 1-4, they’re in the basement of the AFC West and it’s hard not to see that continuing as the year goes on.
They’ve got two wins on the year in low-scoring affairs. The defense still has some players, including edge rusher Maxx Crosby, but that’s not enough to hang your hat on as a franchise. Davante Adams is still one of the best in the NFL but they have to get more out of Jimmy G if they want to distance themselves from the Broncos at the bottom of the division.
This is the toughest matchup left on the schedule, in my opinion. Outside of the Chiefs, of course. Josh Allen and Justin Herbert are both cyborgs when they’re at their best which means this could be one heck of a game to watch. Allen hasn’t been the best when his offense is in the red zone while Herbert has been the opposite. That sounds great, but the Bills defense has been strong once again this year despite some key losses. If they were able to put a lid on the Dolphins defense, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that they find a way to curtail the Chargers in this one. Either way, great football should be had.