The Los Angeles Chargers are building a product that Tinseltown can get behind.
Highlighted by Sunday's thrilling 47-42 victory over the Cleveland Browns, which had game-of-the-year vibes, is the Chargers' ability to enthrall, entertain and -- finally -- win big games.
It was the type of game that should bring more attention from the L.A. audience.
"People show up for stars in pro sports, and I think our team has a lot of them, in terms of guys that the average fan is going to say, 'That person stands out to me.' We have them in all three phases of the game," Chargers coach Brandon Staley said Monday.
Stars sell everywhere. In L.A., that goes doubly. The city of flashy lights caters to the stars.
Justin Herbert is the main attraction.
The second-year QB has been magnificent. Sunday marked his 11th career game with 300-passing yards, the most such games by a QB in his first two seasons in the Super Bowl era (broke a tie with Dan Marino and Patrick Mahomes). Herbert has 5,912 career pass yards in 20 career starts (second-most pass yards in a player's first 20 starts in the Super Bowl era behind Mahomes.) And his 44 career passing TDs is fourth-most in a player's first 20 starts in the Super Bowl era behind only Mahomes (60), Kurt Warner (51) and Marino (47).
"I think that most people that watch the game like to see a lot of people touch the ball," Staley said. "They want to see that, continuity where it's not just one person that's dominating the ball. They want to see a team that can score a lot of different ways."
"The last thing that people are going to show up for is playing a complete team," Staley said. "We want to have a team that's capable of beating people a lot of different ways. That's what you got to have, ultimately, because as much as you want to talk about Showtime, like you need Showtime and then you need people that can stop people. That's what we're trying to do, is be able to win the game a bunch of different ways because that's what great teams do."
Staley knows that to truly catch attention in L.A. they must contend for titles. To do that, he must keep stacking wins any way possible.
"Great teams can beat you a lot of different ways," he said. "That's what we're trying to accomplish here. Yesterday, that was a track meet. Can you win a track meet? Yeah, we can win a track meet. We can also win a low-scoring game. We can hold really good offenses down. Then, can we make enough plays in the kicking game? We're still at the beginning, but what I would tell you is that Chargers fans, through five games, have seen us play five real football teams. They have a pretty accurate look about where we're at so far, because we've played five really good teams. Hopefully, they're going to be showing up even more because, to your point, we have some people that you want to root for."
Another big AFC matchup comes Sunday against a thrilling Baltimore Ravens squad. A win to move to 5-1 ahead of their Week 7 bye would catch plenty of attention for L.A.'s "other" team.