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ESPN's Bill Barnwell Maps Out Chargers Path to the Super Bowl

Buzz 09.07

The Bolts kick off their 2023 journey in just a two days, as the team looks to get back to the postseason for a second consecutive year in a competitive AFC.

There's no question the Chargers roster contains high-level talent to compete with anyone from top to bottom, but ESPN's Bill Barnwell took it a step further with his annual look at how each team can make a deep run in the playoffs to win it all.

According to ESPN's Football Power Index, the Chargers have a 52.4 percent chance to make the postseason.

And for Barnwell, the path to a playoff berth — and possibly more — starts with having better luck than they had last year on the injury front.

Barnwell's analysis noted that Keenan Allen, Joey Bosa, Austin Ekeler, Justin Herbert, J.C. Jackson, Derwin James, Corey Linsley, Khalil Mack, Rashawn Slater and Mike Williams — Barnwell's top 10 Chargers players — all missed a combined 43 percent of possible snaps in 2022.

Getting that number down in 2023 would benefit the Bolts greatly and set them up among the NFL's best.

Barnwell wrote:

Everyone is present and accounted for to start this season, although it's unclear whether Jackson will be able to play a full complement of snaps in Week 1 as he returns from a ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee. If the Chargers have their stars missing for only 25% of their snaps this season, they'll comfortably be a playoff team. If you dare to dream and believe the number falls to 10% or less, well, that's where you start getting into scenarios in which they win the AFC West and look like the league's best team.

Check out the best photos of the Chargers Wednesday practice at Hoag Performance Center

Only two players were listed on the Chargers injury report as of Thursday heading into their Week 1 matchup against the Dolphins, meaning most of the team is ready to go.

There's still a long way to go between now and the end of the NFL season, and Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley said Wednesday that his team is just focusing on taking it one day at a time with the season opener on the horizon.

"What we're focused on is each and every day," Staley said Wednesday. "I think that we're not looking to the future, we're just trying to stay in the moment with this team, make sure that we do everything at a Super Bowl standard.

"It's really about each day for us," Staley added.

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