The end of this regular season for the Chargers and Eagles can go in one of two directions.
Their sudden success will either torture and tease their fanbases in a creative new way or they will blaze one of the most improbable paths to the playoffs in memory.
Both teams entered the season as Super Bowl contenders. They were picked to get to the big game by plenty of analysts.
Three weeks ago, the Chargers were 4-7 and fans were focused on who the next head coach would be. Since then, they’ve won three straight games since by a combined score of 109-38.
Philip Rivers is suddenly playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the league again, and the team proved the streak was no fluke with a blowout win over Baltimore.
“This is what everyone was expecting from us all year,” Chargers defensive tackle Antonio Garay said after the game.
The Chargers need a ton of help to win the AFC West. Two straight wins to get to 9-7, and a Wild Card spot is easier to envision.
Two weeks ago, the Eagles were stuck at 4-8. They were — and still are — the most disappointing team in the league.
After a 10-day break following a Thursday night loss in Seattle, the Eagles have waxed the Dolphins and Jets by a combined score of 71-29. Their defense has dominated the line of scrimmage.
As Florio pointed out in his 10-pack, the Eagles’ path to an NFC East title at 8-8 isn’t that crazy. It just makes those early losses this season more painful.
“You think back on the season, you get frustrated, because there were a lot of games we should have won,” Michael Vick said after the Eagles’ win.
That’s the thing. If the Eagles and Chargers come up just short, there will be a temptation to spin everything positive, keep the coaches in place, and say both teams were this close.
In reality, the Chargers and the Eagles should have been this good all along. The recent success just points out that both teams haven’t reached their potential.
Then again, there are still two weeks left to change the narrative. The Eagles and Chargers just need two wins and a lot of help.