Many have pointed the finger at quarterback Philip Rivers, but I don’t see him being the reason. Tight end Antonio Gates hasn’t been able to stay healthy and the rest of their receivers haven’t been up to the task. Also, Rivers misses a LaDanian Tomlinson-like running back. Ryan Matthews was not a fit there. They have yet to find the right running back.
The Chargers selected running back Melvin Gordon early in the 2015 NFL Draft. Could he be the answer in San Diego?
Here is the 2015 NFL team preview for the San Diego Chargers.
2014 Win/Loss Record: 9-7
Key Additions: WR Stevie Johnson, OT Joseph Barksdale, OT Chris Hairston, OG Orlando Franklin, CB Jimmy Wilson & WR Jacoby Jones
Key Losses: RB Ryan Mathews, WR Eddie Royal, OG Chad Rinehart, C Nick Hardwick, DE Dwight Freeney, CB Shareece Wright, S Marcus Gilchrist, ILB Andrew Gachkar, C Doug Legursky & K Nick Novak
2015 Draft Picks: RB Melvin Gordon, ILB Denzel Perryman, CB Craig Mager, OLB Kyle Emanuel & DT Darius Philon
Non-Division Schedule: AFC North, NFC North & (Miami/Jacksonville)
Fantasy Sleeper: WR Stevie Johnson – Malcolm Floyd isn’t exactly the model of perfect health. If he goes down, Johnson would get more than the 40 or 50 receptions he’s expected to get this season. He’s worth a flyer in a deep league.
Offense – QB Philip Rivers, RB Melvin Gordon, WR Malcolm Floyd, WR Keenan Allen, WR Stevie Johnson, TE Antonio Gates, LT King Dunlap, LG Orlando Franklin, C Chris Watt, RG Johnnie Troutman & RT D.J. Fluker
Defense – DE Kendall Reyes, DT Sean Lissemore, DE Corey Liuget, LOLB Melvin Ingram, ILB Manti Te’o, ILB Donald Butler, ROLB Jeremiah Attaochu, CB Brandon Flowers, CB Jason Verrett, SS Jahleel Addae & FS Eric Weddle
Team Analysis: San Diego finished last season on the fringe of a playoff berth. They play in a competitive division and this season they also play the AFC North and NFC North. It will be difficult for them to get over the hump once again. Quarterback Philip Rivers is underrated and doesn’t get the respect he deserves. If he were on the Cowboys or Steelers, his name would be uttered (or screamed) a lot more on shows like ESPN’s ‘First Take’. They will once again finish in the middle of the pack in the AFC and will be a game or two out of the final Wild Card spot. They have some nice pieces, but they are not on the same level as the top teams in the conference.
2015 Wins Over/Under Line: 8.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2015 Projected Win/Loss Record: 8-8 (3rd in AFC West)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.