The Los Angeles Chargers have been building a very good roster for several years. They still have some work to do, but the Chargers are poised to break out in 2018. They have the most talented roster in the division and one of the best in the AFC.
Here are the best players on the Chargers roster and some predictions for this season.
Best Skilled Offensive Player
Rivers has been one of the league’s best quarterbacks for several years. Rivers has been named to the Pro Bowl seven times, AP Comeback Player of the Year once, AFC Offensive Player of the Week nine times and the NFL’s Top 100 list seven times. He also has led the league in pass attempts (one time), pass completions (one), completion percentage (one), passing yards (one), passing touchdowns (one), yards gained per pass attempt (three), quarterback rating (one) and fourth quarter comeback victories (one). Rivers has a strong and accurate, despite an unorthodox throwing motion. He is a leader that will hold his teammates accountable but doesn’t always control his emotions. The Chargers will only go as far as Rivers can take them.
Best Offensive Lineman
Okung has been a high-end left tackle for since he entered the league in 2010. He has started all 103 games he has played in during his eight-year NFL career. He has been named to the Pro Bowl twice and has started 12 playoff games. He is a big, strong tackle with a long reach. He also displays good technique and mobility to handle speedy, edge rushers. He equally effective as a run blocker as a pass blocker. Okung stabilized the offensive line for the Chargers last season.
Best Pass Rusher
Bosa and Melvin Ingram are likely the best pass rush duo in the league. Both are among the league’s best, but Bosa is given this distinction because he is younger and has accomplished a lot more than Ingram had in two seasons. Bosa has collected 23 sacks through his first two seasons. Last season, he broke out with 12.5 sacks, 70 combined tackles, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed. Bosa is a big, quick and technically-sound as a pass rusher. He can get to the quarterback by going around, through or with his hands.
Best Pass Defender
Hayward is one of the most underrated players in the league. There are few cornerbacks with his ball skills and coverage ability. He led the league with seven interceptions in 2016 and had six as a rookie in 2012. He also had 20 or more passes defensed in 2012 (21), 2016 (20) and 2017 (22). In addition, he is capable in run support and willing to be physical. He doesn’t have the ideal size to play outside cornerback, but has the ball skills and speed to make up for it.
Perryman is an undersized inside linebacker with good weight and tackling ability. He is an intimidator that likes to hit anyone with the ball from sideline to sideline. He is going to have a lot of opportunities to make hit opposing running backs, quarterbacks and receivers this season. He should have a big increase in his tackle production to over 100 combined tackles in 2018.
Best New Addition
Sturgis is a big upgrade over the four kickers the Chargers trotted onto the field last season. Sturgis made over 80 percent of his field in 2015 and 2016. Last season, he was 3-for-3 in the opener before missing the rest of the season with an injury. The four Chargers kickers (Travis Coons, YoungHoe Koo, Nick Novak and Nick Rose) combined to make 20-of-30, or 66.7 percent. In addition, Sturgis has missed four extra points total in his career while the group of five kickers, which includes punter Drew Kaser, missed five extra points. Sturgis gives the Chargers a much more reliable kicking option than anyone they had last year.
Not So Out On A Limb Prediction
The Chargers will make the playoffs.
The Chargers are a much better team than they have been in the past. This year will finally get out of their own way and win games that they have lost in the last few seasons. They will host a playoff game and win that easily. If they can get the Patriots in the divisional round in the New England, the Chargers have a very good chance to go to the AFC championship game. They have the pieces that give Tom Brady trouble, very good pass rushers. However, the magical run will end in the AFC championship, most likely in Jacksonville.
The Chargers will lead the league in sacks.
Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are definitely one of the top three duos. It can be debated who is the best, but Chargers duo will get a lot. They combined for 23 last season. The rest of the team had 20 to bring the team total to 43, which was good for sixth in the league. They were 13 behind the Steelers. They will make that ground up this season and finish with 57 or 58 sacks. Bosa and Ingram will have more than they had last season and the addition of Uchenna Nwosu gives them a third edge rusher option. Everyone on the team will have more sack opportunities just because the team will be leading more often in the second half.