The San Diego Chargers (4-12) will take the field with some fine offense tools, but we note that they have a weak O-line and a shaky defense. That combination will most likely yield a losing season. Our San Diego Chargers 2016 NFL preview observes that coach Mike McCoy, who in four years with the Chargers is 23-27, needs to put together a decent year. That may be tough in a division that sees both the Chiefs and Raiders much improved.
Chargers Offense: B-
San Diego QB Phillip Rivers (4,792 YD, 29 TD, 13 INT) is a quality competitor who ably spreads his passes amongst his receivers. Rivers has some good players to toss to including free agent WR Travis Benjamin, WR Keenan Allen (725 YD, 10.8 AVG, 4 TD), who missed numerous games last season due to injury, and TE Antonio Gates (630 YD, 11.3 AVG, 5 TD). The ground game needs Melvin Gordon (641 YD, 3.5 AVG, 0 TD) to take charge and FB draftee Derek Watt to create lanes. The frontline is a shambles and needs to get its act together ASAP.
Chargers Defense: C-
The Chargers defense is certainly a major concern. The front is especially weak, while the linebacking crew looks to be a bit better. In 2015, OLB Melvin Ingram led the team in sacks with 10.5, while ILB Denzel Perryman was tops in tackles with 107. Ingram was second with 78 takedowns. The secondary was porous but CB Jason Verrett (3 INT) played well and showed potential. CB Brandon Flowers will try to get back to top playing form as he recovers from a nagging knee problem.
Chargers Special Teams: B
Rookie kicker Josh Lambo (28/32 XP, 28/32 FG) performed well last season. His teammate from Texas A&M, Drew Kaser, will be the club’s rookie punter in 2016. Veteran long snapper Mike Windt is back, offering stability. The punt return game should see improvement with the addition of free agent Travis Benjamin (Cleveland). The return squad on kickoffs needs help.
Chargers Coaching and Management: C
Head coach Mike McCoy had a 2-12 run last season. He’s retooled his coaching staff. That means ownership is expecting to see positive results in 2016. If they don’t, that could spell the end for McCoy. GM Tom Telesco filled some important spots with the draft, including DE with Joey Bosa (Ohio State) and center Max Tuerk (USC).
Last Word: San Diego Chargers 2016 NFL Preview
As we wrap up our San Diego Chargers 2016 NFL preview, it’s important to note that this team will have a tough time being competitive within their division. It’s a division in which they did not get one win last season. This year they may see some progress; they may beat Denver at home.
For our overview of the AFC and to link to other AFC teams, please click here.