2011 was a rocky year for the San Diego Chargers. The season started out great, but a six-game losing streak in the middle of the season ruined everything. They finished the year 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
Head coach Norv Turner still has his job, but will need to make the playoffs in 2012 if he hopes to keep it. He is in the hot seat and will need excellent play from quarterback Phillip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates.
The AFC West will be competitive this season. Every team has improved their roster this offseason and it is any team’s division to win. Can the Chargers bounce back and save Turner’s job?
Key Additions: RB Ronnie Brown, WR Eddie Royal, WR Robert Meachem, RB Jackie Battle, S Atari Bigby, DT Aubrayo Franklin, LB Jarret Johnson, S Corey Lynch, RB Le’Ron McClain, WR Roscoe Parrish, TE Dante Rosario, QB Charlie Whitehurst, WR Michael Spurlock, DE Melvin Ingram, DT Kendall Reyes, S Brandon Taylor, TE LaDarius Green, OG Johnnie Troutman, RB Edwin Baker and C David Molk.
Key Losses: RB Mike Tolbert, WR Patrick Crayton, S Bob Sanders, WR Vincent Jackson, DT Tommie Harris, LB Na’il Diggs, S Steve Gregory and LB Stephen Cooper.
Non-Division Schedule: AFC North and NFC South
Fantasy Sleeper: WR Eddie Royal – The Chargers lost Vincent Jackson this off-season but added Robert Meachem, Roscoe Parrish, and Eddie Royal. Philip Rivers still has Malcolm Floyd as his #1 receiver with Meachem the likely #2. Royal is the ideal slot receiver and has the speed to add yards after the catch. Rivers will throw for 4,500 yards again, but it is unknown how those yards will be divided. The first few games will foreshadow the rest of the season.
Team Analysis: If you have high hopes for San Diego this season, let me point out something very important. Norv Turner is still the head coach of the San Diego Chargers. I repeat, Norv Turner is still the head coach of the San Diego Chargers. Phillip Rivers had a disastrous 2011 season, but I feel like that he was unlucky with a lot of his interceptions. He has some new weapons this season and will need to air it out. Ryan Mathews is already on the shelf, so they will need to rely on Ronnie Brown and the other reserve backs to fill-in. Antonio Gates is said to be feeling 100% for the first time in a few seasons…about time for fantasy owners to feel good about drafting him high. The AFC West is improved the San Diego’s defense will need to play better in 2012. It has been a few seasons since San Diego had to face-off against another elite quarterback within their own division. Denver and San Diego will be neck and neck throughout the season. The head-to-head matchups will be important, since they could be used as a tiebreaker for the playoffs.
2012 Wins Over/Under Line: 9 (Prediction: PUSH)
2012 Projected Win/Loss Record: 9-7