Four weeks into the season, the Chiefs were 4-0 and the Chargers were 0-4. Only an idiot would have given the Chargers a chance to win the AFC West.
Now everyone gives the Chargers a chance to win the AFC West.
The Chargers’ recent surge, combined with the Chiefs’ collapse, has left both teams at 6-6 and now in a tie for first place in the AFC West.
Today the Chargers beat the Browns 19-10, with Philip Rivers leading the way on offense with another 300-yard game, and Joey Bosa leading an excellent defensive effort. Bosa destroyed Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer with a blindside sack that caused a fumble and ended the Browns’ last, best chance at a comeback. The Browns did get the ball back again after that, but Kizer threw an interception to seal the loss.
Kizer showed some toughness hanging in there against a good Chargers pass rush, but he also looks overmatched right now. He’s just not ready to be an NFL starting quarterback.
If there’s any good news for the Browns it’s that Josh Gordon is back. Gordon, once among the NFL’s best offensive playmakers, has been out for three years because of drug suspensions, but in his first game back today he looked very good, routinely getting open and making plays when Kizer could get him the ball. Gordon had four catches for 85 yards and would have had more if Kizer had thrown the ball to him when he was open. Gordon is the real deal.
And the Chargers have a real chance at being a playoff team. They’re still not filling their tiny new stadium in Los Angeles, so it appears that the local fans aren’t too enthused. But the Chargers are playing good football.