The 2017 season starts on Monday Night Football against division rival Denver Broncos for the new Los Angeles Chargers. With the opening game getting closer by the minute, it’s time for my season preview. Key additions plus losses will impact this team in either positive or negative ways. The team will have impactful players that weren’t there a year ago, and like every team at any level, they will have strengths and weaknesses. All of this, with predictions of final record, and much more is what you’ll be reading about today.
Key Additions and Losses:
This offseason, the Chargers didn’t lose anyone big from the year before. I say this because Danny Woodhead, who was a big time player and leader for the team, was injured for all but one game this past season. One major thing we did lose was fans. We lost tons of fans due to our move to LA. I will talk more about the impact of this later. Other than Woodhead and the thousands of fans, no big losses occurred for this team, which is good for a team wanting to compete.
Every fan wants their team to sign the big name player during the offseason, or draft the number one overall graded player in the draft. Since this is possible for very few teams, the rest of the league is left to sign and draft players who still may be great performers, butnare either aged or ones with red-flags that could affect their impact on an NFL team. Additions to the Chargers this season was Russel Okung and Tre Boston. The 2017 draft class included Mike Williams, Forrest Lamp, Dan Feeny, Rayshawn Jenkins, Desmond King, San Tevi, and Isaac Rochell.
The most impactful players new to a Chargers jersey are Tre Boston, Russel Okung, Dan Feeny and Desmond King. After the release of Dwight Lowry, I see Boston getting plenty of reps in at safety. He could potentially be this year’s “Casey Hayward.” an underrated signing that pays off big in-season. Okung will be an upgrade, but really anyone would be an upgrade on a woeful line from a year ago. Dan Feeny will offer a mean streak in our line that will improve an already elite run game. One of my favorite players in college football, and now on the LA Chargers, is Desmond King. This man is a ball hawk and I predict him to slide into a starting role sooner than later. He had a strong showing in preseason and he is my pick for the team’s Rookie of the Year.
Like every team, there are a few weaknesses. The safety position is a weakness until proven otherwise. Multiple players look to change that, but nothing is in stone as of now. Home field advantage will not be as effective due to a new home to the Chargers that seats less than nearly all D1 college stadiums. Behind Gordon our backfield looks shaky. We get back 2015 fan favorite back, Brandon Oliver, from injury. Even with our former starter as a back up, our depth doesn’t look good. Another weakness will be offensive line play. Although upgraded from last year, this line still looks to be below average, with only average upside. I still believe it is enough to boost our run game, which brings me to the strengths. I believe this offense can be one of the most explosive in the league. With a strong running game and receivers that can run precise routes and burn it deep, I don’t see many being capable of stopping this Rivers-led offense. As long as Rivers is playing, QB will always be a strength. As well as tight end, led by Antonio Gates and followed up with the second-year phenom Hunter Henry. If healthy, CB can be a very big strength on our defense, which is led by one of the best pass rush duos in Bosa and Ingram. Linebacker depth can hurt us, but our starters will be an advantage over most teams.
Now for predictions. For the final record I predict a modest 9-7. I say we split with every division foe except, the division-winning Raiders. The other four losses will come at the helm of the Patriots, Giants, Cowboys and Redskins. All of these are good losses, which sounds strange, but we have a tough schedule. Mustering out nine wins will be promising enough for me. Philip Rivers will take MVP (team), while Melvin Gordon is Offensive Player of the Year (team). On the defensive side of the ball, Joey Bosa takes home NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Desmond King will be Rookie of the Year for the team. Pro Bowlers will include the following: Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon, Jason Verrett, and Joey Bosa.
This season will be exciting for fans, and we could see a playoff appearance if the team stays healthy. These are my honest predictions and what I expect to happen, barring serious injuries. We are very familiar with injuries and could be set back if one occurs. Bolder predictions have been spoken before, and this team has the talent to break my simple predictions and other bold predictions.