It seem like every year the Los Angeles Chargers are favorites to win the AFC West. Some seasons rightfully so. They have had the best or second best Quarterback in the division for over a decade now. Philip Rivers has been incredible. He has shown that he can play through injuries (Played in the 2007 AFC Championship game with a torn ACL). He has had 4 different head coaches since he has been with the Chargers (not too bad). He has also had a lot of change over with the Wide Receivers. Through the mist of that he has made 7 Pro Bowls, he was a passing yards leader, he was comeback player of the year, NFL Touchdown Co-Leader etc. The Chargers themselves have also been loaded with amazing talent through the years from Ladainian Tomlinson, Shawn Merriman, Vincent Jackson and Drew Brees (which some might have forgotten that he played for the Chargers). They have had a couple respectable coaches throughout the years. Marty Schottenheimer being the best in this era for them. Norv Turner was also respectable because of how he ran the offense. Somethings the LA Chargers need to work on to start the year.
- Getting out of their own way – The Chargers seem to always find a way to beat themselves no matter how many points they’re up by, and no matter how much time is left on the board. They are known for choking in games at the last min.
- Starting off fast – Last year the Chargers started off very slow and that stopped them from really taking over the division. They lost their first four games and then won their next three and won the last 6 out of 9 games. Thats pretty impressive. Seeing that they had a new coaching staff. It would also be smart for the Chargers to start fast because of how shaky the division is right now. The Oakland Raiders have a new Head Coach. The Kansas City Chiefs have had a lot of change over, with players getting traded and cut and they’re starting a young QB in Patrick Mahomes. Then you have the Denver Broncos that are coming back with their second year coach (one their own front office does not seem to believe in) along with a new QB themselves.
- Run the Ball – The Los Angeles Chargers have Melvin Gordon (who I was high on coming out of Wisconsin) as their running back. He has not lived up to his high draft selection, but he has improved every year. I believe that if he can stay healthy and Ken Whisenhunt can bring out his creative offensive playbook for running schemes. Charger fans, Melvin Gordon and even Philip Rivers will all be happy. At the end of the day it is about winning football games and Philip Rivers have almost every positive stat you can think of but one, he does not have a championship ring. He has no stats of any kind in the Superbowl because he has never played in one. So I think he will be fine with handing the rock off more if it includes winning more football games.
- Offensive Line play – As of now and for the last few years the Chargers Oline has been average at best. They have their future Offensive Guard Forrest Lamp coming back this year after he suffered a torn ACL in training camp last year. So it will be interesting to see how far along he has come, come training camp. Russell Okung is not reliable with health or play. Some games he can look pretty decent then he has his games where you wonder if he is good enough to start. He had a pretty good season last year. He was their best lineman but is that saying much?. The line only gave up ten sacks but Philip Rivers had 37 throwaways which shows why he is not getting sacked that much. He is getting rid of the ball quickly to the WR or to a fan in the stands. Their Oline was ranked 24th in the league last year. They have to do better then that if they expect to take over the AFC West this year.
- Having weapons locked and loaded (ready to go) – Mike Williams needs to have a big year. He needs to prove he was the best WR coming out of last years draft. He missed the first six games of the season. So he needs to be ready so Philip can be comfortable enough to throw him the ball and that will also help present some of Philip’s throwaways. Another guy they need to be locked and loaded is Keenan Allen. Last year he won the comeback player of the year award and rightfully so. He is a special talent when healthy and it was good to see him on the field all season last year, playing with so much confidence after coming off a ACL. Thats tough because the two years prior to that he only played in a total of 9 games. The Chargers have work to do but they are the favorite to win the division.