UA-59049186-1 NFL Team Preview: San Diego Chargers - Good if it Goes

NFL Team Preview: San Diego Chargers

SDschedule

Last Year: 

Record: 4-12

Offense: 371.8 YPG (9th), 20.0 PPG (26th)

Defense: 361.9 YPG (20th), 24.9 (21st)

2015 was a season of underachievement for the Chargers. With a top 10 QB like Rivers at the helm, who also was highest paid before Luck’s new deal, you kind of expect to at least be playoff contenders every year. However, injuries absolutely decimated the Chargers and robbed them of an opportunity to build any real chemistry. Only 1 of the team’s starting offensive lineman made it through the entire season without injury. All of the other 4 missed time at various points throughout the year. The biggest loss among that group perhaps being King Dunlap, who only played 7 games. Keenan Allen, the team’s best offensive skill player, only played in 8 games. Defensively, Brandon Flowers and Corey Liuget missed significant time. And there were countless players that missed 2 or 3 games. Not to mention Antonio Gates’ 4-game suspension to start the year. With all of the different lineups they had to trot out on a weekly basis, playing in 1 of the league’s toughest divisions, it’s really understandable why the Chargers weren’t in playoff contention last season.

Offseason: 

Key Acquisitions: CB. Casey Hayward, WR. Travis Benjamin, DT. Brandon Mebane, S. Dwight Lowery

Key Loses: S. Eric Weddle, TE. Ladarius Green

 

 

2016 Draft Picks

RD(PK) PLAYER POS SCHOOL
1(3) Joey Bosa DE Ohio State
2(4) Hunter Henry TE Arkansas
3(3) Max Tuerk C USC
4(4) Joshua Perry ILB Ohio State
5(36) Jatavis Brown OLB Akron
6(4) Drew Kaser P Texas A&M
6(23) Derek Watt FB Wisconsin
7(3) Donavon Clark OG Michigan State

2016 Outlook

Coaching Staff

HC: Mike McCoy

OC: Ken Whisenhunt

DC: John Pagano

ST: Craig Aukerman

Projected Depth Chart

Offense

QB. Phillip Rivers, Zach Mettenberger

RB. Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead

FB. Derek Watt, Chris Swain

WR. Keenan Allen, Javontee Herndon

WR. Travis Benjamin, Stevie Johnson

TE. Antonio Gates, Asante Cleveland

TE. Hunter Henry, Sean McGrath

LT. King Dunlap, Chris Hairston

LG. Orlando Franklin, Kenny Wiggins

C. Matt Slauson, Max Tuerk

RG. D.J. Fluker, Donavon Clark

RT. Joe Barksdale, Tyreek Burwell

Defense

DE. Joey Bosa, Darius Philon

NT. Brandon Mebane, Sean Lissemore

DE. Corey Liuget, Tenny Palepoi

OLB. Jeremiah Attachu, Tourek Williams

MLB. Manti T’eo, Joshua Perry

MLB. Denzel Perryman, Nick Dzubnar

OLB. Melvin Ingram, Kyle Emanuel

CB. Jason Verrett, Steve Williams

SS. Jahleel Addae, Adrian McDonald

FS. Dwight Lowery, Darrell Stucky

CB. Brandon Flowers, Craig Mager

NB. Casey Hayward

Special Teams

K. Josh Lambo

P. Kasey Redfern

Breakdown

Offense: 

The Chargers have the potential to be a very explosive offense in 2016. I love the addition of speedster Travis Benjamin at the receiver position who will no doubt help stretch the field. I also love the addition of rookie tight end Hunter Henry, who already possess very good route running skills. Combine those 2 with Keenan Allen, who is 1 of the game’s best receivers, and future Hall-of-Famer Antonio Gates and the Chargers have, potentially, 1 of the better receiving corps in the league. As far as their run game goes, I believe Melvin Gordon will have a much better season in his 2nd NFL season at running back and begin to live up to being a 1st-round pick. The Chargers offensive line will be better by default if they simply have better health, which is what I believe the Chargers front office was banking on when they opted not to address the offensive line early in the draft. All of that surrounds veteran QB Phillip Rivers who finished 2nd in passing yards last season despite all the injuries and inconsistency on the part of all the players around him. If Rivers continues to play at the high level he’s been playing at the Chargers should have no trouble bouncing back next season.

Defense: 

Not only should the Chargers be better on offense, but I expect them to be better defensively as well. Losing safety Eric Weddle is a blow, but the additions of guys like Casey Haywerd and Brandon Mebane are huge. Flowers and Liuget should play a lot better this season if they can avoid the injury bug. The most intriguing position group on the Chargers defense is their young linebacking group. Melvin Ingram is already 1 of the league’s better pass rushers and Attachou has all the tools to develop into 1 as well. Denzel Perryman is a potential stud in the middle and Manti Te’o is steady. 1 of the biggest question marks about this defense is going to be how will rookie Joey Bosa adjust to playing 3-4 end after playing his entire career as a 4-3 end in college. The responsibilities are significantly different  and his skill set might not be ideal for that position. The safety positions are probably the weakest on the entire defense. Dwight Lowery had a good season last year for the Colts but previous seasons in Atlanta and Jacksonville weren’t nearly as productive and you have to wonder if he simply caught lightning in a bottle and maxed out in a contract year? He’ll be 30 years old this season. Addae can hit a little bit and offers some run support but he hasn’t gotten a single interception in his 3 year career and could will be a liability in coverage. The Chargers aren’t going to be a top 10 defense but they won’t be horrible either. I can see them finishes somewhere in the middle of the pack.

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