What a year it’s been for the Chargers 2022 season – from all of the injuries, winnable losses against the Jaguars, Seahawks, and Raiders; to finding themselves at 6-6 and on the outside looking in. Miraculously, the Chargers have clinched playoff berth, but that doesn’t mean that the regular season is irrelevant.
According to ESPN.com, the Chargers are currently slated as the 7th seed; which means they’ll be stacked against the surging Bengals – who, as we all remember, are just one year removed from their last Super Bowl berth. And while one can understand, and accept, that you’re bound to play tough teams in the playoffs – just one seed higher would earn the Chargers a first-round match against either the Jaguars or Titans.
The Chargers know first-hand that the Jaguars are no slouch, especially after their embarrassing loss to the same team who picked first in the draft this past year – but it’s a hell of a lot easier than facing Burrow, Chase, Mixon, and Higgins. Against the Chargers’ defense we saw in the first half of the season? That’s a potential recipe for disaster, even with Bosa and Slater back.
The Last Question of the Chargers 2022 Season
With the Rams and the Broncos ahead for the final games of the rest of the Chargers 2022 season, it’s a safe bet that with full force, the Bolts will win out. But, there lays an inherent dilemma: do the Chargers rest up Herbert, Allen, and Williams and save themselves of any more heart-breaking injuries; or put their injury-prone team at risk for a higher seed and much easier matchup?
Why You Play Them
As already alluded to, there’s a world difference between the Jaguars/Titans and the Bengals. Furthermore, the Chargers are on a 3-game winning streak, playing well on practically all-cylinders, and you keep the momentum going. Based on the Rams and Broncos seasons thus far, there is a possibility that the Chargers get a sizable lead early on, and can rest their stars for the second half while also winning out. Does that screw up momentum? Maybe. But it also gives you a significantly lower percentage that any of these key players get injured.
Why You Rest Them
There’s another variable not yet accounted for – the very team that stands between the Chargers and the precious 6-seed… the Ravens. This entire question is predicated on the assumption that the Ravens lose one of their final two games, which will be against the lackluster Steelers and potentially the second-stringers of the Bengals. Sure, Lamar Jackson is still not practicing; but for some reason, the team seems to believe he’ll play. Regardless, even with Huntley at the helm. the Ravens still have the upper hand against the Steelers, which would mean that if you’re even thinking about resting the stars; then you might as well do so.
Here’s the deal, plain and simple – the Ravens will be facing the Steelers in the prime time night slot, whereas the Chargers will be squaring off in the afternoon; so, unfortunately, you can’t play predicated on the Ravens’ outcome. So, I think that the strategy would be to go all out this week and earn yourself a win against the cross-town “rivals”, and then hope for a Ravens loss. If the Ravens lose, you give your stars a rest the following week and it’s a win-win – rest, and the 6-seed.
But, if the Ravens beat the Steelers, do you play the stars? I’d say so. While, as a working man, I know that burnout is a real thing – but these guys are world-class athletes who have access to the supplements, training staffs, and amenities that us working folk do not have access to. They’re paid millions of dollars a year to do this. If it means lining up against the Jaguars/Titans or the Bengals in the first round of the playoffs, I’d say it’s worth it to dig deep and give it all they got.
Monday gave us Bolts fans the relief of knowing that we’ll at least make the playoffs, but the rest of the season has a lot to say in how long we’ll last in the playoffs. Ending the season hot, and getting healthier, things are sure starting to get a hell of a lot more interesting in Charger Nation – and while these next two weeks may not be nail-biters on the surface level; they sure will still hold a lot of weight on the Chargers 2022 season…
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