Photo via Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Chargers had a disappointing 2016 season winning only five games, but things are starting to look up after an impressive 2017 NFL draft, the hiring of a stout coaching staff and the return to health for several players.
Here are three reasons why the Chargers will bounce back in 2017 and win the AFC West.
No. 3, Philip Rivers finally has weapons
As mentioned above, Los Angeles had an impressive draft bringing in talent at positions of need.
For example, the offensive line was a revolving door resulting in Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers being sandwiched every Sunday.
In this year’s draft, Los Angeles brought in guards Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp. One of them can play at right guard and the other can be moved over to center or just add depth to the line.
Chargers tackle Russell Okung is solid on the left side (73.1 PFF player grade) and guard Matt Slauson is an impressive left guard (81.2 PFF player grade).
Chargers right tackle Joe Barksdale had a rough 2016, but should be expected to bounce back to his old form, for he had PFF player grades of 81.6, 75.2, and 81.8 in the three seasons before 2016.
Without a doubt, the Chargers’ offensive line will be improved. If the rookies make a quick transition, it could even become a strength of the team.
In regards to the skill positions, Los Angeles will add rookie wide receiver Mike Williams and healthy wide receiver Keenan Allen to pair with breakthrough wide receiver Tyrell Williams.
Rivers now has three great targets at wide receiver, two great targets at tight end, Chargers tight ends Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry, and solid running back Melvin Gordon.
For the first time in a while, Los Angeles has all the weapons on the outside along with the needed protection on the inside to successfully utilize all of their future hall of fame quarterback’s skills and make this a top offense in the NFL.
Ryan is currently a student at the University of North Carolina. He grew up in the Bay Area and has had Raiders season tickets his entire life fostering his love for the NFL. He has founded his own sports website, thejrreport.com and works at the Sports Desk for the Daily Tar Heel. You can follow Ryan on twitter @rytime98 if you want to discuss anything sports.