What to expect for Chargers in 2017
The city of Los Angeles is slowly but surely becoming a football town. The Chargers are the second NFL franchise in the last two years to arrive in Los Angeles. This is a team that has one playoff appearance in the last seven years and maybe the change of scenery will help this franchise get back to a winning culture. The last two seasons alone, the Bolts have a total of nine victories.
Can the Chargers use the city of bright lights as motivation and turn heads in their first season in Los Angeles?
Here is the Los Angeles Chargers 2017 season preview.
Key Player Additions
Panthers wud like 2 announce that we have parted ways w/ S Tre Boston. 🙏🏾 4 all the yrs & hard work u gave 2 this organization #KeepPounding pic.twitter.com/ARsHKAiS5J
— San Francisco 49ers (@Botds_49ers22) June 30, 2017
The Chargers boosted their offensive line by adding a Pro Bowl caliber tackle Russell Okung. He is definitely needed to ensure that the Chargers franchise quarterback Philip Rivers stays upright. They also added veteran safety Tre Boston, who was a key member of the Carolina Panthers defense that was in Super Bowl 50. He came off his best season as professional in 2016 recording career highs in interceptions (2), sacks (2), pass deflections (7) and starts (10). Boston is a solid acquisition, who can add depth to a solid defensive backfield. Other than those two signings the Chargers were quiet in free agency. They made sure they kept key guys like Melvin Ingram by handing out extensions. The Chargers basically have the same roster as last year.
Key Player Losses
Backup running back Danny Woodhead headed east to join the Baltimore Ravens after four seasons in San Diego. He was a reliable target for Philip Rivers out of the backfield and produced a total of 10 touchdowns in the last two seasons. The Chargers released veteran offensive lineman King Dunlap, who had issues with his health and retired after nine seasons. Linebacker and former second round pick Manti Teo signed a deal with the New Orleans Saints. He accumulated 222 tackles, two interceptions, and nine pass deflections in his four-year career in San Diego. Cornerback Brandon Flowers is now a free agent after two seasons battling injuries and concussions. The Chargers released him in March.
Is @Chargers rookie Mike Williams really out for the year? @eric_d_williams joins us next.https://t.co/9Phfo51EGl pic.twitter.com/gmOCZZ5GIf
— Kaplan and Crew (@KaplanandCrew) July 21, 2017
With the seventh pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers selected Mike Williams. A 6’4 massive wide receiver from Clemson, with great hands, tremendous ball skills, strength, and speed. Williams will step in right away and be one of the main offensive options if he’s healthy.
Forrest Lamp, who was considered a first round talent at the offensive guard position dropped to the second round for the Chargers. He’s another guy who could start right away. Guard Dan Feeney adds, even more, depth to the offensive line and could potentially be a starter for the Chargers down the road.
The Chargers drafted two talented defensive backs in Desmond King (CB) and Rayshawn Jenkins (SS) who both are talented at their respected positions. As of now, they are considered backups and special team’s contributors. But look for them to be key parts to the defense sooner rather than later.
On paper, the Los Angeles Chargers have a very talented roster. They have an improved offensive line thanks to key acquisitions and draft picks. With the addition of the first round pick Mike Williams, the Chargers have a legit wide receiving core. This will take the huge pressure of Keenan Allen and add more options on the outside. If Melvin Gordon can stay healthy and Philip Rivers can limit the turnovers, the Chargers can potentially have a very respected, competitive and potent offense.
The main issue the Chargers have had is on the defensive side. The Chargers ranked 29th in the NFL last season in points allowed. But this year the Bolts could change all that. With the rise of Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa and elite pass rusher Melvin Ingram on the opposite side, look for this tandem to be even better in year two. Not to mention the two Pro-Bowl cornerbacks in Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward forming a formidable tandem of their own.
The Los Angeles Chargers have enough talent to make things very interesting in the AFC West and the AFC in general. But one thing has to go in their favor to be successful and that’s health. Staying healthy has been a thorn in the Chargers side for years and it has always been the difference. If the Chargers stay healthy, look for them to be a sleeper team this year. Give Philip Rivers a solid defense, consistent running game and a dependable offensive line and good things can happen. Los Angeles is a place where winning is required and necessary. Hopefully, the Chargers can take that into consideration and begin their first year back L.A. on the winning side.
2017 Schedule is out for our @Chargers Get your tickets! @CityofCostaMesa pic.twitter.com/N52746dQ6p
— Katrina Foley (@KatrinaFoley) April 21, 2017
Week 1: Chargers vs. Broncos (Road)
Week 2: Chargers vs. Dolphins (Home)
Week 3: Chargers vs. Chiefs (Home)
Week 4: Chargers vs. Eagles (Home)
Week 5: Chargers vs. Giants (Road)
Week 6: Chargers vs. Raiders (Road)
Week 7: Chargers vs. Broncos (Home)
Week 8: Chargers vs. Patriots (Road)
Week 9: Chargers vs. Jaguars (Road)
Week 10: Chargers vs. Bills (Home)
Week 11: Chargers vs. Cowboys (Road)
Week 12: Chargers vs. Browns (Home)
Week 13: Chargers vs. Redskins (Home)
Week 14: Chargers vs. Chiefs (Road)
Week 15: Chargers vs. Jets (Road)
Week 16: Chargers vs. Raiders (Home)
Chargers have a pretty tough schedule this year. But I believe they will surprise a lot of people this year and do better than what they are actually projected to be. I have them improving to 9-7 and possibly slipping into a wild card spot.
Follow Cornelius Campbell on Twitter for more Chargers news.