The NFL is in full swing and aren’t we all the better for it. We have already witnessed a repeat of last year’s Super Bowl, this time the Denver Broncos were beaten 26-20 by the Seattle Seahawks in overtime, instead of being humiliated again like they were in the 2014 Super Bowl final. Many see this game as a prequel to the 2015 Super Bowl.
However, analysts and pundits are giving too much weight to these two teams. We all know the NFL is far from conclusive, shocks are one-a-penny, and this year should be no different. At the beginning of last season the Seattle Seahawks were 17/2 to win the Super Bowl, proving that you do not have to be a favorite to get your hands on the Vince Lombardi trophy.
Granted the Broncos and the Seahawks are the two best outfits in America, but being the best does not always mean victory. Instead, you should look at the San Diego Chargers to upset the betting odds and win the ultimate prize at the University of Phoenix Stadium, come February 1.
The Chargers have never won the Super Bowl. They have reached the game before but lost to Californian rivals, San Francisco 49’ers, 49-26 at Super Bowl XXIX. Since their 1994 AFC success, the Chargers have been in and out of the playoffs, the latter half of the 2000s saw them become a mainstay. However, after their 2009 playoff appearance it took them until 2013 to take part again – the Chargers were 50/1 shots for the Super Bowl that year, and as such, not expected to make the playoffs.
But they did, and that leads us on to this man… Mike McCoy. The Chargers coach took over last season and brought about a much needed change. His start wasn’t smooth sailing with a 4-6 record, nevertheless, he stuck at it and was justly rewarded; the Chargers won five of their last six games to finish 9-7 and make the playoffs. The sides are now well versed in McCoy’s tactics. They are more of a cohesive unit under McCoy than they have ever been in recent years. With a coaching career based in attacking roles, McCoy has succeeded in bringing the best out of what was a point-shy Chargers attack. Despite this being just the second year in McCoy’s profession head coach career, he looks like a wise old head; he probably owes a lot of that to John Fox.
You can’t win anything with a dodgy quarterback. That seemed to be the case with the Chargers and Philip Rivers, who, in 2012, posted his second worst season of his, then, nine-year professional career. However, McCoy, who has worked with QB’s for most his career, completely changed the playbook, galvanizing Rivers. Last season the Alabama native was playing at his zenith, assisting 32 touchdowns and achieving an average score of 105.5. This season Rivers has started brilliantly – nine touchdowns in four games is superb – only the mercurial Peyton Manning is playing better than him. In Rivers the Chargers have a QB gifted enough to take them to the big game.