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State of the Chargers


State of the Chargers  

38 members have voted

  1. 1. What are you expecting from LT this year?

    • Last year's numbers (1,500 total yards, 12 TDs) or worse
    • 1,700 total yards and 15 TDs, his average over the past two seasons
    • 2,000 total yards and 18 TDs, his career average prior to last year
    • Vintage LT, with more than 2,000 total yards and 20+ TDs
  2. 2. Who is the real Philip Rivers, or at least the one you'll see in 2009?

    • Last year's 4,009 and 34 TDs was just the tip of the iceberg
    • Last year was a spike, but he's still a top-five fantasy QB (3,800-4,000 yards, 30+ TDs)
    • He won't match last year's numbers but he's still a quality fantasy starter (3,500+ yards, 25+ TDs)
    • He'll fall back to the 3,400 and 22 he averaged in the two seasons prior to last year

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State of the Chargers


For any other back, 1,110 rushing yards and a dozen touchdowns is the kind of year that gets your agent on the phone looking for a new deal; for LaDainian Tomlinson, it was a disappointment. As a result of LT's "struggles", Philip Rivers carried the offense and made a case for joining the elite level fantasy QBs. With LT healthy, how do the Bolts balance Rivers' passing with LT and Darren Sproles in the running game?

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I recently read somewhere that Rivers has gone over tape of every incompletion last year. He said that his short passing game, particularly to RBs is his weakest area and will be focusing on that heavily. Sounds like he's only going to get better. While I still think people way over-value Sproles, if he gets a dozen more passes as a CoP this season, then I like him a lot more than I did in a PPR.

This is an interesting post since that article was in the Union-Tribune this week. I think Norv wants to preserve LT's health by getting him away from smashing into the line between the tackles on every down, and he also wants to use Sproles in the passing game. If Rivers can hit them wide or in the secondary LT takes less punishment and Sproles gets to use his speed to break longer gains. Makes total sense.

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As expected (dreaded?), here is my take on the Chargers this year.


Last year recap is needed first:


The team was over-hyped at the beginning of the year considering their actual situation, not how they “looked on paper”. They were coming off of so many injuries, that they were still badly wounded going into camp from the previous campaign. Gates’ toe, River’s knee and an O-line that had multiple starters coming off of surgery and slow healing injuries. Merriman should have had his surgery when Rivers did, and I still wonder what that was about. You cannot question the presence or the skills, but you wonder about the personal motivation. As I have said, I have met all these guys, and I liked Shawn, he is friendly, engaging and not anywhere near the thug you see on Sunday (which I don’t like to see). There is clearly and agenda, and I can’t help but think there was a questionable motivation for taking the course he chose.


The team started slowly due to these injury issues and was immediately set further back by a freak toe injury to LT and Merriman shutting it down after game one and Cromartie playing most of the season with a broken hip and Jaml Williams skipping most of camp after double knee surgeries that took him at least four games into the season before he was back to his dominant ways in the middle. Goff and Clary on the right side of the o-line just were not dominating the LOS as they had and The defense without Merriman’s presence and pressure coupled with the weetodid coaching contributed to a shaky start. The Hoculi call certainly didn’t help.


Just as LT was getting healthy, and awkward fall against Denver pops his groin and another post season is shot for him. They certainly were a playoff caliber team and I think the 8-8 record reflected more the hurdles overcome than poor performance on the field team, but the defense was not good enough or deserving of a Championship and was outplayed by a better team against the Steelers.


This year:


The Chargers will start the season with six more pro bowl players healthy than last year.


I preface this with the fact that my ties to the Chargers are very much reduced due to not living there now for three years. Two of my three friends who worked for them have moved on to other NFL positions and so I can only go by occasional contact with the one remaining and what I read and see.


The team is a healthy it has been in years. No injuries of major concern, though I personally think we need to watch LTs groin injury. Those can become chronic. He approached the off-season by repairing his body with a bio-mechanic specialist and lost weight while doing “micro-therapy” to repair and rehab specific areas of his body. Once better, he hit the weights, gained his weight back and is leaner going into camp (same weight) than he has been in years. I see a better year than last, possibly back to top five FF performers.


Gates toe is still a let’s see. He is dominant, but will he regain the top spot or just be one of the best? The number of talented WRs on this squad are going to be nice for Rivers, but limit a really spectacular season by any of them (except for maybe Vjax). Just not enough balls to go around. The Chargers can advance the ball as well as anyone, and Rivers, like it or not, is now one of the League elite QBs. The O-line has brought in a Rook and the veteran Forney, a monster run blocker, and should be much better at grinding out the yards now that they are all healthy and can start the season together.


The Defense now has a good coach in Rivera, Meriman, Williams and Cromartie healthy and a monster rook in English. The pressure is coming. I see the D returning to top five to seven status, at least until Rivera is snatched away next year as a HC somewhere else. The defense, after Rivera took over, climbed to a much more respectable level of play and statistically showed top half improvement.


The Chargers special teams remain in the Leagues best overall units with arguably the best punter and a top five kicker. Coverage units have always exceptional (with the occasional gaffe) and Sproles remains as one of the most dangerous return men in the country.




Cake walk to Division title. Probably an 11-5 record, at least ten wins and maybe 12. A first round win in the playoffs and we’ll see what happens from there.


As a homer, I would like to predict a championship and I think it is possible with this unit. But to guarantee it, I have never done it because too much can happen to a team in a season. I like their chances and think they still remain a top five team in the league, but we’ll have to wait and see. THAT is why we love the NFL.

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