Los Angeles Chargers: The forgotten contenders

Everyone has their picks for representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. Plenty aren't jumping off the New England Patriots bandwagon, as they seemed to have righted themselves as the season has gone on. The Pittsburgh Steelers survived their own rough start to shoot to the top of the charts in the AFC. These two teams and the Houston Texans, who have won eight straight, are being mentioned as a potentially winners of the AFC. While all are talented teams, there is one team people fail to mention and that team is the Los Angeles Chargers. The currently are 8-3 in the AFC West, just one game behind the Kansas City Chiefs. Along with that, they are currently 7-1 in their last eight games and seem to be one of the hottest teams out there right now. So with them being a hot team right now, why are the Chargers largely being ignored on a national level.

One reason is because of the attendance in their stadium. The Chargers relocated to Los Angeles, with last season behind their inaugural season in Los Angeles. The plan is for them to eventually split the new stadium going up in Inglewood, California with the Los Angeles Rams when it was ready. If anything is indicative of how much people don't want them there is, the stadium attendance is the clearest form of fans just not being interested in the Chargers. The thing is the Rams were originally there in Los Angeles before they went to St. Louis. The Chargers were in Los Angeles but for many the time they were there is not very memorable at all. So they have to build a fan base instead of trying once more to work on a new stadium agreement in San Diego. Right now, I would say those results have been pretty bad since they cannot even sell out the place they play now, which is considerably smaller than an NFL stadium.

Along with the support not coming from anyone in the move to Los Angeles, everyone continues to wonder when the other shoe will drop. By the other shoe, people mean Phillip Rivers. The veteran quarterback has put up great numbers throughout his entire career and as he closes out his career, the biggest thing he is looking for is a title. While he is having yet another great regular season, this paints the picture of what has happened already. When Rivers gets to the playoffs, he can make some good plays, but he also has some issues making the winning plays. Over his playoffs career, Rivers has 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions along with a 59.8% completion percentage. Comparing those numbers to his regular season numbers of 368 touchdowns and 172 interceptions along with a 64.5% completion percentage, it seems Rivers just does not step up when it comes to crunch time. He could prove everyone wrong this season, but all people have to go on is his body of work.

The Los Angeles Chargers are definitely title contenders so far and it seems like everyone forgets they are even any good this year. What would be even more amazing then them making the playoffs would be them hosting a playoffs game. Add to it that not many Chargers fans will be in attendance and you have a road home game for the Chargers. We shall see how things go.

Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

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