How are California’s Teams Fairing in the NFL This Season

The 2023 NFL Season is hotting up and reaching its business end. Across both conferences and all eight divisions, several teams are beginning to stand out from their rivals, be it for the right or the wrong reasons. The reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs certainly fall in the former of those two categories. 

Despite dropping a shocking opening-day defeat to the Detroit Lions, Patrick Mahomes and Co. have steadily built up an impressive 8-2 record. They have secured victories over the likes of the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, and the Jacksonville Jaguars and they look hellbent on securing a third Lombardi in five years. But if anyone can stop them, it’s the Philadelphia Eagles. 

The Lincoln Financial Field side was defeated by the Chiefs at Super Bowl LVII back in February at State Farm Stadium. Despite one of the all-time great individual performances from quarterback Jalen Hurts, the Eagles still conspired to throw away a ten-point half-time lead and succumbed to a last-gasp field goal which cost them the victory. They have put that defeat firmly in the rearview mirror this season though and have already racked up an 8-1 record. Hence, Super Bowl odds installed them as +525 second favorites for the Lombardi, with the Chiefs just ahead of them at +500. 

But what of California’s teams? Here is how all three are fairing at present, and whether any of them have any hope of the Lombardi themselves this season. 

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers have always been a powerhouse. They have reached the conference championship game in three of the last four seasons, just as they did a decade ago. However, only one of those games has been converted into a Super Bowl appearance. That came back in 2020 when they lost 31-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. 

Last season, it looked as though their campaign would fall apart when they were forced to turn to Mr. Irrelevant and third-string quarterback Brock Purdy. However, the former Iowa State standout steered his side into the postseason and within a whisker of reaching the Big Game once more. Unfortunately for them, he too would suffer an injury against the Eagles in the NFC Championship game, allowing Jalen Hurts and Co. to romp to victory. This season though, Purdy and his 49ers have started like they mean business.

They began in scintillating fashion, winning their first five games and prompting the bookies to install them as the early favorites for the Lombardi. Three consecutive defeats saw them tumble down the pecking order, but they got back to winning ways on game ten with a victory against the AFC South-topping Jacksonville Jaguars. That sees their record improve to 6-3  putting them ahead of the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC East and yet another Divisional Crown may well be on its way to Levi’s Stadium. 

they do have some testing games on the horizon. they will meet the Seahawks twice before the season is out, as well as the Eagles and the Baltimore Ravens, who have Lombardi aspirations of their own. they will be expecting to head into the postseason as divisional champions, and their fixtures against these heavyweights during the run-in will be a good indicator as to how they will fare in the playoffs. 

Los Angeles Rams

Since their Super Bowl triumph on home turf at SoFi Stadium last February, the Los Angeles Rams have plummeted. Last term, they missed out on the postseason altogether, finishing with a dismal record of just five wins and 13 losses. To put that into perspective, only four teams had a worse record than the then-reigning champions. And this season, it hasn’t been much better. 

The Rams are in the same division as the 49ers however, they are well behind them in the race for divisional glory. They have managed to secure just three wins all season and two of them came against the lowly Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts. As such, their playoff aspirations are in the mud, and with games against the Seahawks, Browns, and 49ers on the horizon, things may not get better anytime soon. 

Los Angeles Chargers 

The Chargers have never truly been one of the NFL’s standout teams. They have reached the Super Bowl just once, and that came way back in 1994 when they were thumped by the 49ers. Last season they reached the playoffs for the first time in four years however, their foray into the postseason was ended at the first hurdle, dropping a razor-thin 31-30 defeat to the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

This term, they are well-positioned with a 4-5 record and if they can string several wins together, they may very well make the postseason once more. They are in the same division as the Kansas City Chiefs, so any hope of qualifying as division winners is out of the window. However, they do have many winnable fixtures on the horizon, so a wildcard spot isn’t out of the realm of possibility. 

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