Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2011 Season Preview: San Diego Chargers

2010 Record: 9-7

2010 Rankings:
Total Offense - 1
Passing Offense - 2
Rushing Offense - 15
Scoring Offense - 2
Total Defense - 1
Pass Defense - 1
Rush Defense - 4
Scoring Defense - 10


A slew of injuries and Vincent Jackson's holdout last season left Philip Rivers with Antonio Gates and essentially no WRs for a part of last season, but that didn't slow him down. Rivers kept gunslinging and wound up throwing for over 4700 yards. However, when it came down to it, the Chargers just couldn't punch the ball in the end zone when it really counted. They tried to lean on rookie RB Ryan Mathews but an injury and Mathews' adjustment to the pro game forced them to make Mike Tolbert the top back through most of the season. Jackson and Malcolm Floyd figure to be the top targets on the outside this year with Gates dominating the middle once again. The running game is stil a question mark and is really the only thing that could derail this offense.


It wasn't necessarily the defense that let the Chargers down last year. It was the Special Teams. Statistically the defense put up some great numbers, except in the turnover department where they were 23rd in the league in generating turnovers. The Chargers brought in some big name free agents, if this was 2007. They added LB Takeo Spikes and S Bob Sanders. Sanders is great against the run when healthy and Spikes is a sure tackler in the middle.


A statistically great team fails to make the playoffs? That's what happens when you don't play special teams. Their running game will need to improve and their defense isn't as good as the numbers, thanks to a lot of short fields from the 29 turnovers committed by the offense and the long returns given up by punt and kick coverage units.

If the Chargers were a Beer, they would be:

Troeg's Mad Elf

This is an excellent beer. In fact, it might be our favorite Christmas beer. But it's just that. A winter seasonal. You won't see much from it in September or October. Come November and December, you're convinced it's the best beer on the market. But after Christmas is over? This beer will disappear faster than the Chargers in the playoffs. Oh wait....

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