Home field advantage in the playoffs doesn’t really mean much if you can only seat 20 to 30K people. It’s even worse when a majority of those fans are wearing opposing teams jerseys. Even when the Chargers are playing at home it can feel like an away game. However, a winning culture can change everything, especially in Los Angeles, home of many bandwagon fans. Anthony Lynn has this team focused on one thing, ’embrace the grind’. The mental grind for Philip Rivers the past few years with the move to Carson, CA from San Diego took a toll on him and the rest of the team early on in 2017 starting 0-4. Since then, Lynn has this team so dialed in that he constantly repeats, “We’re not the same old Chargers.” Lynn has this team finishing games with a focused running game, which was evident when they ran for 0 yards in the 1st half against the Steelers and 80 yards in the second half while trailing.
This team is different on so many levels. Rivers doesn’t have to put the weight of the world on his shoulders, he now can use his playmakers to get the ball downfield. In the past, we’ve seen the Chargers down 7+ points in the 4th, Rivers had no choice but to take chances down the field. This year, they have players to make those plays! The Chargers are 6 and 1 on the road this season, including a stretch of 42 straight days between home games including a trip to London. The most important part of their road record is who they beat. Road wins in Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Kansas City. All at the top of the league in home winning percentage.
As it stands right now, the Chargers would hold the 5 seed and get a rematch with the Baltimore Ravens in the wildcard round. History has shown that it is very hard to beat the same team twice. Especially with a rookie quarterback in Lamar Jackson vs. a veteran like Rivers. The Chargers would rather play Lamar Jackson then Ben Roethlisberger or Tom Brady. Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes are both very inexperienced in the playoff game. The veteran, trash-talking Rivers is ready to-go-to work and it starts week 17 on the road against Denver as a tune-up game for a deep Playoff run.