- After going 12-4 a year ago, the Chargers are just 2-3 in 2019
- Philip Rivers had one of the worst games of his career in Week 5, throwing for just 211 yards
- LAC is now listed as +4000 longshots to win Super Bowl 54, the worst odds they’ve had all season
For the fourth time in five seasons, the Los Angeles Chargers have a losing record (2-3) after five games thanks to an anemic 20-13 home setback to the previously winless Denver Broncos in Week 5.
The team’s Super Bowl odds are now the longest they’ve been all season, currently sitting at +4000 as of Monday. Prior to the Week 5 loss, their odds were sitting at an average of +3067.
Odds To Win Super Bowl 54
|New England Patriots||+300|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+700|
|New Orleans Saints||+900|
|Green Bay Packers||+1200|
|Los Angeles Rams||+1600|
|San Francisco 49ers||+2000|
|Los Angeles Chargers||+4000|
*Odds taken on 10/07/19.
For the first time in almost four years, the Chargers failed to score an offensive touchdown in Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the Broncos. The fact that the game marked the return of running back Melvin Gordon following his contract holdout makes that stat a little more surprising, though the star back will likely need a little more time to get up to speed. He was limited to just 31 yards on 12 carries.
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) October 6, 2019
But it was through the air that the offense really struggled on Sunday, with quarterback Philip Rivers attempting 48 passes … and compiling just 211 yards. That makes for an average of just 4.4 yards per attempt, well short of Rivers’ career average of 7.8 yards per attempt.
The Chargers had been sixth in total offense prior to Sunday; they now sit 14th overall, with a mark 372.2 yards per game.
It’s not unreasonable to expect that ranking to rise again, though, particularly as the 37-year-old Rivers has only finished four games with a worse yards-per-attempt number, and the last of those came 12 years ago.
Just A One-off?
Prior to Sunday, the Chargers offense had largely been a model of consistency, and that’s even without Gordon and tackle Russell Okung, who has missed the entire season with blood clots.
Rivers threw for 1,254 yards and seven touchdowns in the first four weeks, and wideout Keenan Allen has the sixth-most yards in the NFL this year, with 470 yards on 38 receptions.
— NFL (@NFL) September 30, 2019
In the absence of Gordon, the running back position was in good hands with Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson, with Ekeler scoring six touchdowns through the first four games.
A Return To Full Health
While the return of Okung to the lineup is a complete unknown at this point of the season, the Chargers do have other players that they will be looking forward to getting back on the field.
Rivers without LT Okung,
no WR1 Mike Williams,
no WR2 Travis Benjamin,
no RB1 Melvin Gordon,
no RB3 Justin Jackson,
no TE1 Hunter Henry,
no TE2 Virgil Green..
— ＣＨＡＲＧＥＲＳ⚡️ＨＹＰＥ (@ChargersHype) September 29, 2019
The most prominent is likely tight end Hunter Henry, who, after missing the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL, fractured the tibial plateau in his left knee in Week 1. But the 24-year-old is getting close to a return, and will help take some of the pressure off of Allen in the receiving game.
Similarly, wideout Mike Williams has been banged-up this season and producing less than usual. As a guy who had 10 receiving touchdowns last year, a return to 100% will also inject more playmaking ability into the offense.
At +4000 to win the Super Bowl as of Monday, the Chargers’ odds are the longest they’ve been all season. This is for a team that went 12-4 in 2018 and which had odds as low as +1000 back in February. Compared to some other sports, the NFL season is extremely short, but there are still 11 games to go in the regular season. There’s a lot of football still to be played.
The Chargers defense has played well so far, giving up just 18.8 points per game, easily the best mark in the AFC West and good enough for ninth in the entire NFL.
— Fernando Ramirez (@RealFRamirez) October 6, 2019
If the offense can get back on track, there’s no reason to think the Chargers can’t force their way back into the playoff picture.
While a return to the playoffs might be on the cards for this Chargers team, it’s hard to see it emerging unscathed from playoff road trips to the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs or New England Patriots, which makes odds of +4000 less than good value.
Pick: Fade the Chargers (+4000)
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