The San Diego Chargers went 9-7 for the 2nd year in a row last year, but they did miss the playoffs. Unlike 2013 when they made it to the 2nd round. Mike McCoy has a rather average team this year, but his coaching alone gives them a shot a the playoffs. Vegas has the Chargers win total set at 8.5 (U -125). Vegas odds have the chargers listed at +500 to win the AFC West, +2000 to win the AFC and +4500 to win Superbowl 50. A Preview of the Chargers, along with their 2015 Schedule is below.
Last year the Chargers offense was ranked 17th in scoring, at 21.8 ppg, while also ranking 18th in total yards (341.6 ypg), 10th in passing (256.1 ypg) and 30th in rushing (85.4 ypg). The Chargers offense took a step back last year after having a very good 2013 and the biggest reason was the running game that was pathetic. Well they hope they have solved that problem when they drafted Melvin Gordon in the first round. Gordon had an amazing career at Wiscons and will look to carry that over the the NFL. Another reason for the poor running game was a poor OL line, so they brought in Orlando Franklin, who was the Broncos best lineman last year and they also added Joe Barkstale, who is a solid run blocker. This should be an improved OL and it should help Gordon, Woodhead and Oliver all have a good year running the ball. The Passing game is in the hands of Philip Rivers, who was among trade talk in the offense as the Chargers were possibly looking to trade up with Tennessee to get Mariota. That didn't happen and Philip is staying. He is a fiery QB that does give them their best chance to win now. The passing game did lose Eddie royal, but Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates and Newly acquired Steve Johnson give him very solid weapons to work with. This should again be an offense that is capable of being in the top 8 in the league, especially with an improved running game
Defensively the Chargers ranked 14th in points allowed (21.8 ppg), 9th in yards allowed (338.3 ypg), 4th vs the pass (215.2 ypg) and 26th vs the run (124.1 ypg). The defense for San Diego was very average last year, but still they were vastly improved over 2013. I look for another average year from this unit this year. The DL was a weak spot of this defense last year as they failed to get much pressure on the QB and they couldn't stop the run. They hope that DE Corey Liguet can continue to grow as a run defender as he did as the year went on last year. The Rest of the line is a bit below average, but could get better should NT Ryan Carrethers work his way into the starting lineup as he has the tools to be a solid run defender. The LB corps looks to be solid with Butler, Ingram and the fact that they used 3 of their 5 draft picks on this unit. It should be an improved group, but still by league standards they are slightly above average. The cornerstone of this defense is their secondary, which is led by possibly the best DB in the league in Eric Weddle. Brandon Flowers is very good in run support, while getting back Jason Verrett (2104 1st round pick) will be a plus. Overall this will be an average defense, but they could be much better should the front line improve.
THe Chargers really do have 8-8 talent, but they also have Mike McCoy, who is usually worth an extra win or two for this team. Mike is an excellent coach and will get the most out of this average talent team. The Bolts should be improved on offense as they have a running game to compliment their passing game. Rivers has cut down on mistakes the last two year and it has made him a better QB. He has some nice weapons to work with and the OL line is improved, so I do look for better numbers from this unit this year. The defense is very strong in the secondary, but they do have issues up front and if they do get more pressure on the QB and figure out how to stop the run then this unit can be much improved. Those are big ifs though. This is an 8-8 team on paper, but just because of the presence of McCoy I will call for them to hit at least 9 wins, while challenging for a playoff spot in the process.
Info Gathered From Scout.com & Athlon Sports
2015 San Diego Chargers Schedule
Sept. 13 Detroit Lions, 4:05
Sept. 20 at Cincinnati Bengals, 1
Sept. 27 at Minnesota Vikings, 1
Oct. 4 Cleveland Browns, 4:05
Oct. 12 Pittsburgh Steelers (Mon), 8:30
Oct. 18 at Green Bay Packers, 4:25
Oct. 25 Oakland Raiders, 4:05
Nov. 1 at Baltimore Ravens, 1
Nov. 9 Chicago Bears (Mon), 8:30
Nov. 15 BYE
Nov. 22 Kansas City Chiefs*, 8:30
Nov. 29 at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1
Dec. 6 Denver Broncos, 4:05
Dec. 13 at Kansas City Chiefs, 1
Dec. 20 Miami Dolphins, 4:25
Dec. 24 at Oakland Raiders (Thu), 8:25
Jan. 3 at Denver Broncos, 4:25
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