Over the past five seasons the San Diego Chargers have a record of 42-38. In those five years the team has either seven, eight or nine wins. They have been for lack of a better word, average. The Chargers team has always been viewed as a dangerous opponent, but that really depends on which Chargers team shows up on game day.
Losing the last game of the year last season in a win or go home scenario epitomizes the Chargers inconsistencies. A difficult game to win in Kansas City, but still very winnable for a team controlling its play-off destiny. The team failed to score in the final 41 minutes of the game. Including three times in the fourth quarter when the team was in the Chiefs red zone. The offensive line allowed seven sacks of Philip Rivers as the Kansas City Chiefs swept the season series. Not a great way to end a once promising season for the Super Chargers.
You could point to the fact the team lost veteran center Nick Hardwick early in the season as a deciding factor on their poor season. The Chargers were forced to start five different centers in an attempt to replace Hardwick. The offensive line was beat up and playing out of position for most of the season. It is not very easy to gain any semblance with a beat up line. That is a fact. The line must play as one cohesive group in order to thrive.
Ryan Mathews was also injured and missed seven games. Losing him along with Danny Woodhead crippled the team but Branden Oliver stepped up and played very well. Melvin Gordon was drafted to replace the oft injured Mathews and Woodhead is completely healthy. Branden Oliver has run well in the preseason and looks like a solid backup for the Bolts. The issues of last season at running back, seem to be rectified.
There are just 14 current Chargers remaining from the old regime. Once Tom Telasco arrived he immediately made changes to the roster. Coach Mike McCoy‘s arrival signaled a new philosophy and the team has performed well, but yet has failed to make it into the next level. All cannot be put on the shoulders of coach McCoy, but he is indeed feeling the pressure. This Chargers team is built to win and compete now. They have all the talent in place at key positions to go well into the playoffs. We will see if the team can make it to the next level. It is really early to say that a losing season would be disastrous to Coach McCoy’s reign, but he does need to get this team to the playoffs.
The balanced offensive attack should easily return with a healthy O-line and a group of running backs like Danny Woodhead, Melvin Gordon, Donald Brown and Branden Oliver in the backfield. The Chargers were forced to throw the ball a lot last season as the team was riddled with injuries. That should not be the case this season. With the arrival of Orlando Franklin the line gains a solid veteran prescience and his addition will prove to be extremely valuable in the long run. Chris Watt takes over at center and D.J. Fluker and King Dunlap help make this seasons Chargers offensive line one of the best lines in recent Chargers history.
The defense is better, the offensive line is better. Add in the fact the team is mostly healthy and the Chargers are once again poised to make a playoff run. It is an exciting time to be a Chargers fan. The stadium issue weighs heavily on everyone’s mind, but the excitement of a new seasons has dulled those painful thoughts for the most part. Chargers fans are excited as the season kicks off in less than two weeks. Week 1 against the Detroit Lions will be a huge test for the Chargers. Its time to Bolt up!