Could this year finally be the year for the Chargers? The AFC West division is not only up for grabs by arguably all four teams, but it is easily the strongest division in football. While the Kansas City Chiefs have dominated the division in recent years, their team could certainly take a step back with a completely revamped offense. The Broncos added Russell Wilson at quarterback, and the Las Vegas Raiders added all-pro wide receiver Davante Adams to the mix.
So how do the Chargers stack up? Some would say Los Angeles has the best roster from top to bottom in the NFL. The offense is led by quarterback Justin Herbert who is coming off of a season where he threw for 5,014 yards and 38 touchdowns. Many believe he has one of the strongest arms in the NFL, and could unseat Patrick Mahomes as the top quarterback in the division. Herbert will have his familiar receivers on his side as Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Joshua Palmer, and Jalen Guyton are all back. The Chargers didn’t really add much to their receivers so expect a high octane offense with smooth efficiency. Gerald Everett could be an underrated addition at tight end, as he flashed some receiving upside in stints with the Rams and Seahawks.
Austin Ekeler leads the running backs again this season. The Chargers have built some depth around him in the backfield, as Ekeler has been known to struggle with injuries over his career. Back this season are Joshua Kelley and Larry Rountree, but perhaps more existing is the fourth round draft pick out of Texas A&M, Isaiah Spiller. Last season, Spiller had more than 1200 yards from scrimmage, and 7 total touchdowns, on just 204 total touches. He could provide some nice backup touches for Ekeler, but don’t be surprised if it is more of a committee this season, especially with playoff aspirations for the Chargers.
On defense, the Chargers are as strong as ever. With a core built around Derwin James and Joey Bosa, the team made a major splash by adding Khalil Mack to its defensive line. The Mack acquisition is a massive boost to a defensive line that will have its hands full with Mahomes and Wilson in the division. It also overshadowed the Chargers signing star cornerback JC Jackson away from the Patriots. The addition bolsters arguably the weakest part of the Chargers’ defense in the secondary. Los Angeles now has at least one major difference maker at each defensive level.
So is it AFC Championship or bust this season? Looking at the conference, it’s hard to argue that the representative in the Super Bowl this year will likely be from the AFC West. The Chargers still have to prove that they can take down the Chiefs as well as fend off the Broncos and Raiders. Still, you’d be crazy to think that the Chargers aren’t at least in a great position to win a AFC Wildcard spot this year. Chargers fans buckle up, this could be a fun year!
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