A look at last year’s standings indicates that the San Diego Chargers, who won four games, lost 12 and finished third-last in the AFC, were a mess.
However, anyone who sat and watched their play on the field will tell you that it wasn’t all quite as bad as the ladder may have suggested.
Eight of the Chargers’ 12 losses were by seven points or fewer. They are one of just six teams in the history of the NFL to lose that many games in a season by such a small margin.
The fact that they couldn’t quite close out the tight games was largely down to the fact that they were injury ravaged on the offensive end, particularly their receivers and offensive linemen.
The positive to take from that was that they often hung around in contests, if not quite possessing the firepower to drag themselves over the line. At the start of a new season with injuries far fewer, that should no longer be a problem.
But like any other sport, the NFL is a results business. Head coach Mike McCoy perhaps survived the axe last term because of his side’s unlucky streak.
But his unfavourable 2015 record forms a large part of the reason for the 44-year-old’s position as our favourite to be the first coach to lose his job, at 7/2.
Another subplot in his position at the head of the market is the situation with rookie defensive end Joey Bosa, who is refusing to join up with the team over contract disputes.
The Chargers head honchos are making it clear Bosa won’t be getting what he wants easily, while McCoy has stated that he’d love to have the number three draft pick as part of the team.
Although it’s unlikely that the coach loses his job over the Bosa saga, having the former Ohio State star around would certainly help him keep it.
Nevertheless the Chargers’ improved offensive health should be enough to see the team improve this season. We go 6/5 that they win over 7.5 games this year and 3/1 they make the playoffs for just the second time in seven years.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.