Some people are fans of the Los Angeles Chargers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the Los Angeles Chargers. This 2022 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far here.
Your team: Long Burger Chargers.
Your 2021 record: 9-8. If I told you that the Chargers started 4-1 out of the gate a season ago, only to have it all fall apart in a manner that truly defied imagination, would you believe me? What if I also told you that Mike McCarthy’s kicker nailed a 56-yarder to beat them at the gun, and that they lost to New England in a game where the Pats’ offense could only muster a single touchdown, and that they lost to the Texans for some reason, and that the Vikings beat them at home by keeping possession of the ball the entire game, and that they got walked off by the Chiefs in overtime, and that they dropped 970 passes, and that their run defense was easier to penetrate than your mom? That all scan?
OK then, how about this: What if I told you that the Chargers missed the playoffs in the final week of the season by losing a game that they didn’t even have to win outright? It’s true. All they had to do was not lose to the Raiders. In fact, they tied that very game at the end of regulation, in truly miraculous fashion, to ensure that both teams would make the playoffs had they simply made a gentleman’s agreement during the OT coin toss to consecrate the greatest and most outrageous tie in football history. But what if I told you that the Raiders—who really did discuss playing for that tie prior to overtime, and appeared ready to concede it by the end of the extra period—won the game anyway?