Rested Chargers get back to work, hoping to get back into AFC West race
By Jack Wang
COSTA MESA — The Chargers are tied for the worst record in the AFC West. But in an NFL season with few dominant teams, they can still make plenty of noise through the final eight weeks.
“I like our chances,” Coach Anthony Lynn said Monday, after his team’s bye. “I’d like to be in a better position, but everything’s still in front of us. The whole division is still in front of us. We’re not out of this yet.”
Might the rest do the Chargers (3-5) some good? This season, 18 teams have played games after a weekend off — including Miami and Tampa Bay, who did not play in Week 1 due to Hurricane Irma. Eleven of them won their next game. How much the break helped those teams is unclear: Five post-bye victories this season have come against the 49ers and the Giants, franchises that have combined for a 1-16 record so far this fall.
Curiously, the Giants pulled off their lone win in Denver, against a Broncos squad that looked rusty after its own bye week in early October.
“I’m not sure if that’s an advantage at all,” said Lynn, whose Chargers are due to visit Jacksonville this Sunday. “I’ve seen teams come off a bye and don’t play very well. I’ve seen teams that are playing stay in the same rhythm.”
Halfway through his debut campaign as a head coach, Lynn has seen his team lose four straight, win three straight, and pull within a few possessions of upsetting the defending champion Patriots. They’re staring up at the division, but the next few rungs of the ladder are within reach: Oakland is a half-game ahead with four wins, and Kansas City leads the way at 6-3.
With four of their losses coming by eight or fewer points, Lynn opted to cancel all […]