Thursday, October 22, 2020

Los Angeles Chargers Season Preview

The 2018 season was the Chargers’ second year in Los Angeles. Playing host to the smallest stadium, and home support, there wasn’t much of a home-field advantage. That, and being in the same division as the Chiefs stopped them from having an outstanding season.

GM Tom Telesco and HC Anthony Lynn built up a secretly stacked roster, after going 9-7 the year previous, it was full of depth in most positions, proving to be an under the radar team heading into 2018.

There were three Pro-Bowlers in the three skill positions in Quarterback, Philip Rivers, Running back, Melvin Gordon and Wideout, Keenan Allen. These three contributed to an entertaining offense last time out.

Future Hall of Famer, Rivers, put up 4308 passing yards, 32 passing touchdowns, and 12 INT’s, with a passer rating of 105.5.

2015 first-round pick, Melvin Gordon had a very impressive year, bearing in mind he was nursing injuries. He rushed for 885 yards and 10 TDs. However, that

\Bolts backfield also featured Austin Ekeler stepped in when needed, something he’ll have to do a lot more this year, putting up 554 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns. Gordon and Ekeler also dominated in the air, with 490 and 404 receiving yards respectively, The former with 4 touchdowns, and the latter with 3.

As for Keenan Allen, starting in 14 games, he finished the year with 97 receptions for 1196 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. Pretty darn impressive.

Now for the defense, the Chargers had an outstanding secondary, like Top 3 good. The reason for that, Derwin James. The rookie safety combined for 105 total tackles, 3 INT’s and 3 sacks. That’s an outstanding tally for one of the breakout stars of the league last season.

The Chargers D was loaded with talent, the likes of Melvin Ingram, Desmond King, and Adrian Phillips were ballin’. Ingram and Phillips were selected to the Pro Bowl, whilst Phillips and King were both First-team All-Pro.

Overall, it was a good season for the Los Angeles Chargers, finishing 12-4 and making it to the AFC Divisional Round.

So what’s changed with the Chargers (2019 Offseason)

There have been 2 huge pieces of news regarding the L.A. Chargers this offseason. First off, pro-bowl tailback Melvin Gordon is holding out on all team activities to get a new contract or get traded. Gordon is still on his rookie deal and announced in July that he was seeking a new contract. This seems to be a similar hold out to Le’Veon Bell, meaning Gordon probably won’t be in powder blue for very long. Gordon has requested a trade if his desire for a new contract is not granted. The Chargers like Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson, nothing has happened yet, but I don’t expect Gordon to be a Charger for very long.

The other huge piece of news is the Derwin James injury. Last years Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate suffered a stress fracture in his foot, in training camp. The 17th overall pick from 2018 underwent surgery on his foot, meaning he will be placed on IR to start the season, what a huge loss for the Chargers.

As for Free Agency, here were the Chargers moves. (From Chargers.com)

Signed

  • Thomas Davis, Linebacker,
  • Tyrod Taylor, Quarterback,

Released

  • Jahleel Addae, Safety,
  • Corey Liuget, Defensive Tackle,
  • Jason Verrett, Cornerback,
  • Tyrell Williams, Wide Reciever.

First off, three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Thomas Davis joins the Bolts on a two-year, $10.5 million contract. He comes over from Carolina in his 14th season, after spending 13 years in Charlotte.

Former Browns and Bills Starting Quarterback, Tyrod Taylor has signed along the dotted line to be Rivers’ backup. He’s also signed on a two-year deal.

Corey Liuget left a hole on the interior of the defensive line, well until the Draft anyway. He is currently an Oakland Raider. Wideout Tyrell Williams is also a Raider, Williams signed a four-year, $44 million contract with John Gruden’s #RaiderNation. Both haven’t got far to move.

Jahleel Addae signed with the Houston Texans in May, whilst Jason Verrett signed a one-year, $3.6 million contract with the 49ers. He’s also not moved very far at all.

2019 NFL Draft

28th overall draft pick, Jerry Tillery
(Photo by Gregory Bull / Associated Press)
  • 1st round (28) – Jerry Tillery – DT – Notre Dame
  • 2nd round (60) – Nasir Adderley – S – Delaware 
  • 3rd round (91) – Trey Pipkins – OT – Sioux Falls
  • 4th round (130) –  Drue Tranquill – LB – Notre Dame
  • 5th round (166) – Easton Stick – QB – North Dakota State
  • 6th round (200) – Emeke Egbule – LB – Houston
  • 7th round (242) – Cortez Broughton – DT – Cincinnati

The Chargers added to their loaded defense with their first to picks, in Tillery and Adderley. Both are good value and shows you can get what you want, without making a trade-up/down. Easton Stick adds good depth to the QB Room. He’s got two veterans to learn from aswell, maybe he’s got a bright future.

As for the UDFA’s

  • G Chris Brown (USC)
  • T Blake Camper (South Carolina)
  • LB Josh Corcoran (Northern Illinois)
  • RB Jeremy Cox (Old Dominion)
  • TE Daniel Helm (Duke)
  • DT Reggie Howard (Toledo)
  • DB Bradford Lemmons (Furman)
  • G Koda Martin (Syracuse)
  • WR Jason Moore (Findlay)
  • P Tyler Newsome (Notre Dame)
  • DE Chris Peace (Virginia)
  • DB Rodney Randle (Lamar)
  • TE Matt Sokol (Michigan State)
  • DB Roderic Teamer (Tulane)
  • WR Trevion Thompson (Clemson)
  • C Tanner Volson (North Dakota State)
  • LB Elijah Zeise (Pittsburgh)

That’s all from the Los Angeles Chargers Season Preview, they’re looking set to be in the playoff mix again, it’s going to be a 2-way race to the AFC West title, but maybe a wildcard spot is more likely. I’ll go for a 10-6 record.

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