After wins in 10 of their last 11 games, the Los Angeles Chargers have emerged as a threat in the AFC. Is this just a nice regular season story or are they legitimate NFL Super Bowl contenders? The Palmerbet sports team takes an in-depth look.

Elite Offence

Now aged 37, Quarterback Philip Rivers is having one of the best seasons of his NFL career. He’s put up consistently strong numbers of late, throwing for over 3900 yards and 31 touchdowns this season. His fantastic play has been a huge reason why the Chargers have come into $7.50 to win the Super Bowl.

In Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, Rivers also has one of the best receiving duos in the NFL. The two have combined for over 1600 yards and 15 touchdowns so far this season.

Before his recent injury, Running Back Melvin Gordon was also having an outstanding campaign. An excellent dual-threat, Gordon had over 1200 yards and 13 touchdowns in his 11 games. Set to return this week against Baltimore, he is sure to provide a noticeable boost to the Chargers slumping rushing attack.

Dynamic Defence

While the offence has been getting all of the plaudits, the defence has also been one of the best in the NFL. They’ve held their opponents to 21 points or less in 8 of their games this season.

This is in large part due to their excellent pass rush. Melvin Ingram has 7 sacks already this season, whilst Joey Bosa has registered 4 in his 5 games since returning from injury.

Rookie Safety Derwin James has also emerged as an excellent playmaker in the secondary. He has combined nicely with Cornerback Casey Hayward to cause opposing receivers fits.

Slumping Rivals

Part of the reason for this high-profile Chargers winning streak is that their division rival Chiefs have started slumping. The road win last week in Kansas City resulted in a huge power shift in the AFC. With the Chiefs facing a difficult test in Seattle this week, the Chargers have every chance of overtaking them.

Even the ever-present Patriots have struggled of late, comfortably losing their last 2 games. Tom Brady is showing signs of a potential slowdown, which definitely opens things up for an unlikely contender like LA.

If the Chargers can finish 13-3, there is a very real chance that they’ll end up with 1st place in the AFC. As we saw with Philadelphia last season, you can’t underestimate an NFL team with home-field throughout.

Analysis

The Chargers are a balanced NFL team with star talent on both sides of the ball. Recent road wins in Pittsburgh and Kansas City have shown what it takes to compete in January. At $4.20 to win the AFC and $7.50 for the Super Bowl, there is immense value on Los Angeles here.

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