Los Angeles Chargers: Offensive Preview – Are the playoffs possible?
After the 2017 NFL Draft, it was clear where the Los Angeles Chargers felt they needed the most work. The team spent their ﬁrst 3 picks on oﬀensive players and 4/7. Typically the ﬁrst 2-3 rounds are for immediate impact players and hopeful starters. Sure teams ﬁnd diamonds in the rough in later rounds but there’s never a guarantee. Players picked in the ﬁrst couple rounds are expected to start.
Finishing up last season, the Chargers once again were set back due to injury. Year in and year out the team struggles to stay competitive for the whole season when major injuries sidelines players. Depth has always been an issue in San Diego but maybe a change of scenery will change their luck. Lead receiver Keenan Allen has been the breakout player for the Chargers and Antonio Gates has held down the other side of the football. With Allen often injured and Gates getting up there in age, it was time for a youth movement on oﬀense.
With their ﬁrst pick in the draft, the Chargers took receiver insurance in hopes of changing their luck. With their ﬁrst pick, the team picked up Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams. Unfortunately, the injury bug seems to have moved along with the team. Williams is expected to miss camp with a herniated disk in his back and no immediate time table for a return. The Chargers hoped Williams would be their answer in the red zone, giving Phillip Rivers a big bodied target to throw to. If he can come back healthy like the rest of the team, Rivers will have plenty of weapons to chose from.
When a quarterback approaches their mid 30’s teams tend to bulk up their protection. Rivers just hit 35 and while he’s still a gun slinger he might be in the decline of his career. For that reason, the Los Angeles Chargers spent their next two draft picks on their oﬀensive line. Bulking up with Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney at guard brings a youth infusion to a unit that allowed 36 sacks last season. Chargers fans might want to ﬁnd out who ever cursed the team and beg for forgiveness. With a torn ACL Lamp will miss his entire rookie season.
Being a Los Angeles Chargers fan has to be frustrating. Like some of the other once proud franchises, just as the team tries to ﬁx previous mistakes another unfortunate event brings them right down to reality. The Chargers have toyed with being a dominant team season after season. They’d start oﬀ strong and fall apart, or bad break after bad break keeps them from ever gaining any traction. If the team is to be successful this season, they’ll have to ﬁnd their “next man up” mentality that helps other teams succeed. Who will be this year’s surprise player for the Los Angeles Chargers that puts them back in contention?