The Chargers and Seahawks were division rivals for the longest time. From 1977 to 2002, the Seahawks were a part of the AFC West but relocated to the NFC due to the NFL’s realignment. They’ve met a total of 50 times with the Seahawks holding a 26-24 edge thanks to a recent winning streak.
This rivalry is defined by one thing: streaks. The Chargers and Seahawks alternated winning streaks against each other. San Diego won the first eight games of the series from 1977 to 1981. Then Seattle dominated the ’80s and early ’90s going 14-3 from 1981 to 1991.
San Diego would again go on a run winning nine of the next ten meetings from 1991 to 1996. And then Seattle would control the rest going 11-4 from 1996 to their most recent meeting in 2014. The Chargers won two of the last three and five of their last seven meetings were decided by a field goal or less.
The two only meet every four years now but may meet during the preseason more often. There is no love lost between these franchises and as both have been well-managed and hold prolific talent, expect the match-ups to be fun and frenetic.
Seattle Seahawks Recent History
The Seahawks are one of the NFL’s younger franchises first competing in 1976. They became the first and only team to switch conferences twice starting out as in the NFC then moving to the AFC for 25 seasons and then back to the NFC.
Outside of a conference championship appearance in 1983, the Seahawks didn’t find much success until the 2000’s where all-time great Mike Holmgren coached them to their first Super Bowl appearance in 2005. They would fall short to the Steelers but would remain perennial playoff contenders for all but two seasons.
The Seahawks then hired Pete Carroll in 2010 and then drafted Wilson and elite secondary players in what would become the infamous Legion of Boom. Just three seasons later, they would win their first Super Bowl. This team was almost a dynasty but slowly broke the team apart and they are now currently on the verge of starting over.
Los Angeles Chargers Recent History
The Chargers started in Los Angeles in 1960 but only spent one season before relocating to San Diego where they played until 2016. They won an AFL Championship in 1963, which would be their peak as a franchise. They would have brief runs as a contender sandwiched with long spells of losing.
Most of their runs ended without a Super Bowl appearance. Their only shot at the holy grail came in a losing effort in 1994 where their cross-town rivals, the 49ers demolished them. Their final shot came in the mid-2000’s where an all-star team led by Philip Rivers and LaDainian Tomlinson made it as far as the AFC Championship.
After another playoff drought, the Chargers relocated to Los Angeles in 2017 with a new coach and a revamped team. They have what it takes to go the distance but Chargers fans know better than to hope.
Seattle Seahawks Outlook
Seahawks fans should brace themselves as the 2018 season might be the worst for Seattle in a decade. The strength of their team, the pass defence has been dissolved. The defensive line lost both of its pass rushers while the secondary lost practically everyone. At least their linebackers are still intact.
And that’s only on defence. On offence, the Seahawks still haven’t fixed the porous offensive line. Seattle will once again depend on Wilson’s uncanny scrambling ability. They signed volatile receiver Brandon Marshall but lost red zone threat Jimmy Graham (TE). And their running back situation is still a mess.
But so long as Seattle is led by Wilson and Carroll and their linebackers remain solid, they have the right foundation to build on. But they will need to kill it in the draft next season and sign the right free agents. The Seahawks could be back next season.
Los Angeles Chargers Outlook
The Chargers are often a sexy underdog pick to come out of the AFC but almost as many times, they get decimated by injuries or lose games by a botched field goal. Rivers isn’t getting younger but he still has a few seasons of great football left. He’ll need help and receivers outside Keenan Allen need to step up.
Melvin Gordon is a stud running back and upgrades to the offensive line should help him finally break out. He’s yet to average better than four yards per carry. And on defence, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram form the two best edge rushers outside Denver.
The secondary is the true strength of the team. Casey Hayward locks down the left side of the field and Los Angeles added talented safety Derwin James through the NFL Draft. The Chargers have a lot of good pieces here but would need more depth if they are to overcome injuries on a yearly basis.
It is notoriously hard to play in the CLink. The Seahawks’ infamous 12th man makes it difficult for opposing teams to get organized. Fortunately, the Chargers haven’t made major changes to their coaching staff and return most of their key players from last season.
Los Angeles and Seattle are mirror opposites. The Chargers will make it excruciatingly difficult for Wilson and the passing attack to get anywhere while the Seahawks will limit Los Angeles’s running game. But the Seahawks’ lack of an offensive line or a secondary will play to the Chargers’ advantages.
Rivers should be able to move the chains against the Seahawks fairly well compared to Wilson. When they go to the second units, Geno Smith is better than whoever Seattle puts out. And the Chargers’ depth on defence will allow them to lock the Seahawks down en route to a win.