Over the course of 32 days (or so) I will be previewing all 32 NFL teams, followed by an overall season prediction post, leading up to the start of the 2014 season. This post is previewing the San Diego Chargers.
The Chargers surprised many by making the playoffs with a 9-7 record in 2013 thanks to a bounce-back season from QB Philip Rivers after having a down year in 2012. They’re hoping for another playoff appearance in head coach MIke McCoy’s second €season with the team.
Rivers threw for 4478 yards last year and 32 touchdowns, his most since 2008. Rookie WR Keenan Allen had the most receiving yards on the team, 1046 in 14 starts, including five 100-yard games. He also had eight receiving touchdowns, tying him with WR Eddie Royal for most on the team. Veteran TE Antonio Gates led the team with 77 receptions. RB Ryan Matthews ran for 1255 yards and six touchdowns, RB Danny Woodhead was more productive in the receiving game than he was running, with 76 receptions for 605 yards and six touchdowns, compared to 429 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
The main offensive weapons from last year are all returning this season, along with the offseason signing of RB Donald Brown to add some depth to the position, so you should expect similar offensive numbers from the team And if Allen gets better in his second season in the league, then the offense could be even better. But being in the same division as the Chiefs and Broncos means a tough schedule lies ahead of the Chargers. In addition to four games against those two teams, San Diego faces games against the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, perennially contending Patriots and the 49ers. The Chargers should have another good season but another playoff appearance may be hard to come by in the AFC West.