A Tale Of Two Teams: LA Rams & LA Chargers
Before the start of the 2017 season, the Spanos Family, owners of the Chargers, made the decision to move the team to Los Angeles. The decision was met with a large amount of controversy, and effectively alienated their loyal fans in their hometown of San Diego. As the season has trudged on, the Chargers have struggled with developing a strong football team in such a saturated market. On top of that, the Chargers have to share a stadium with the Los Angeles Rams, who migrated to LA last season. Both teams share the unique quality of playing for the same city, and face challenges unlike any others in the NFL.
The Chargers first season in Los Angeles started off lackluster at best. However, they have since climbed out of the hole they dug with their 0-4 start. They currently hold a 6-6 record, and are in the hunt for the playoffs in a division that is sub-par to the rest of the league. The thing about the Chargers is that they have the talent to take them far, they just don’t know how to pull it all together and finish. Philip Rivers is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, especially when he and his receivers can create a rhythm and move the ball down the field. With Keenan Allen providing elite level talent as a receiver, and Joey Bosa holding down the defense, the Chargers have all the tools to make it to the playoffs.
The Rams are playing their second season in LA, and have adjusted well. Rams have an advantage, as they played for almost 50 years in LA, and still have a loyal fan base there. They currently have a 9-3 record, and are highly favored for being a Super Bowl contender. That’s a huge change from their 4-2 finish last season. Jared Goff is leading the team at quarterback, with over 3,000 yards passing. The real star of this Rams offense is running back Todd Gurley, who is well on his way to achieving a 1,000 yard rushing season. Head coach Sean McVay has been a pivotal leader on this team, continually pushing his players to continue on their path of success in LA.
So how will either team stack up in the future while playing in LA? Well, the Rams certainly have the advantage over the Chargers, in terms of talent as well as fan appreciation. While the Chargers need to work on their ability to finish a game, a more daunting task they’re faced with is establishing a new loyal fan base in a brand new city. Attendance at their games have been seriously lacking. In fact, the attendance for the USC vs. Texas game at the Rose Bowl, also located in LA, had more than double the attendees than the Chargers game that week. The Charges are even struggling to sell out the StubHub stadium, which only seats 27,000.
If the Rams continue to play at the level they are, I predict they’ll make it to the division playoffs. I don’t think they are Super Bowl contenders yet, but they are well on their way of becoming one. I predict the Chargers will finish 7-9, possibly making a wild-card game appearance if they play their cards right. What’s in store for next season? Only time will tell.