After another brutal losing season, Dean Spanos, the owner of the San Diego Chargers announced that the team will moving to Los Angeles. While some call it more of a return to Los Angeles, I wouldn’t go that far. The franchise had only played one season in the Coliseum before shipping off to San Diego for 56 years. Although a majority of the team’s glory has taken place in San Diego under the likes of LaDanian Tomlinson, Dan Fouts and Junior Seau to name a few, this move to LA will see positive results for a few reasons. First, it opens up a huge market to the Chargers who in large part were a small market team. Secondly, the past few years haven’t been anything to brag about, after going 9-7 the first two years under late coach Mike McCoy. The Chargers then went 9-23 the next two seasons and were a dreadful 7-18 in games decided by eight points or fewer in that time.
Philip Rivers did not have a good season on the tail end of this year and struggled in large part with decision making, turnovers and not having his go-to wide out, Keenan Allen for the last 15 games. Even with this much adversity, the Chargers were still a top ten offense. Melvin Gordon proved to be the guy the Chargers thought they were drafting when they took him with their first round pick in 2015, coming up with 3 yards short of 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. Next season expect Melvin Gordon to break 1,000 yards with a run heavy offense under Anthony Lynn.
The defense has taken a huge step into turning back to a top-notch force in the NFL. This year, even with injuries, they figured to be tough, standing toe to toe with some of the leagues most prolific offenses. Joey Bosa is as good as advertised, and Melvin Ingram is one of the most well rounded outside linebackers in the league. The linebacker corps feature Denzel Perryman, Manti Te’o and Jatavis Brown who was one of the steals of this year’s draft. Next season when Jason Verrett returns, with the addition of Casey Hayward last free agency and veteran Brandon flowers, the Chargers secondary has potential to be downright suffocating.
The Chargers will make the playoffs in a wild card spot next season and be part of a division that features three playoff teams. While this may be a huge step from a 5-11 season, when healthy, the Chargers are one of the most talented teams in the league. With the addition of offensive minded head coach Anthony Lynn who was formerly the offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills, Philip Rivers will not be throwing the ball as much with Anthony Lynn being a run heavy coach. When he does he will have to take care of the ball more. He will have his best receiver back in Keenan Allen, with an emerging deep threat in Tyrell Williams and rising stud tight end, Hunter Henry. With the defense being potentially stifling, the Chargers are going to be arguably one of the toughest teams to play against in the league next year, with a projected record of 11-5. Los Angeles and the StubHub Center will bring a breath of fresh air and new scenery for this Chargers team to flourish once again.