They call it home-field advantage for a reason. But an AFC team with a clear home-field disadvantage has become, coincidentally or not, the conference’s premier road team.
The 9-3 Chargers have won five of six road games this year, victorious in all venues except the L.A. Coliseum. Which makes the Chargers 4-3 in the L.A. Metropolitan Area — and 5-0 elsewhere.
Wins have come in places like Pittsburgh in prime time and Seattle, tough locales for any road team. And that bodes well for the Chargers, who seem to be locked in as the No. 5 seed, when the playoffs roll around and they could be returning to Pittsburgh, and then hitting the road for places like New England, Kansas City, or Houston.
The toughest road test yet comes on Thursday, when the Chargers try to break a nine-game losing streak to the Chiefs by beating them in their own building. If the Chargers can pull it off, they’ll need to be taken even more seriously as a team that can go on the road in the playoffs and win, possibly/probably because they never actually play a true home game.
Among the other top AFC contenders, the Steelers are 4-1-1 on the road, the Chiefs have a 5-2 road record, the Texans are 4-2 away from home, and the Patriots are 3-3. New England has a 6-0 record at home, the Chiefs are 5-0, the Texans are 5-1, and the Steelers are 3-3.