The San Diego Chargers will finish with a 3-3 record against AFC West opponents in 2012

By Kenny Gardner

The San Diego Chargers dominated their AFC West rivals from 2006-2009 as they had a 20-4 record against them during this time. In 2010 and 2011, the Chargers were 3-3 against them.  San Diego finished their 2011 season at 8-8 and lost the AFC West to the Denver Broncos due to a tiebreaker as they were also 8-8.

San Diego’s four year stretch against AFC West opponents was beyond ridiculous as they had a 5-1 record each year from 2006-2009. San Diego’s 3-3 record last year against division rivals was disappointing due to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders being injured.  Jamaal Charles was an All-Pro running back in 2010 while Eric Berry was a Pro Bowl strong safety during his rookie season in 2010.  Berry and Charles combined to miss 29 games last season including both games against San Diego in which Kansas City split the meetings 1-1. The Chargers won 20-17 in San Diego, but lost 23-20 in Kansas City.  I expect San Diego to lose both games against Kansas City in 2012.

Tim Tebow was put in the game against San Diego during the second half of week five, which was a Chargers win. Tebow started the their week 12 re-match in San Diego which was a 16-13 Denver win.  Tebow completed 47 percent of his passes in 2011 and only six quarterbacks had a worse QB rating.  Peyton Manning is a monumental upgrade for Denver, but San Diego made improvements on defense.  Manning will make everyone around him better, but Denver does not have great weapons, so I expect the teams to split 1-1 in 2012.

Darren McFadden missed both games against San Diego in 2011 and Oakland split 1-1.  McFadden was fourth in the NFL in rushing yards per game, but Michael Bush had 30 attempts, 157 yards, one touchdown and three receptions for 85 yards when Oakland won in San Diego.  Oakland and San Diego missed their starting running backs in the second meeting because Ryan Mathews did not play against Oakland as San Diego won 38-26. Oakland did not have a first or second round pick in the 2012 draft, lost Bush in free agency, they are ranked 21st on and are ranked 26th in ESPN’s power rankings as well as the Rant Sports Power rankings. I expect the Lightning Bolts to win both games against Oakland in 2012.








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