Chargers Have Shot at Super Bowl
August 30, 2018
By Bill Seals
Are the Chargers Super Bowl contenders?
The Los Angeles Chargers have gone through the preseason as if the goal is to avoid injuries to their starters. Winning has been secondary to being ready for the regular season, which starts Sept. 9 against the Kansas City Chiefs at the StubHub Center in Carson.
The Chargers lost to the New Orleans Saints 36-7 at the StubHub Center last week, yet there seemed to be little concern about the beatdown.
Head Coach Anthony Lynn said after the game, “Let me tell you, I’ve never played a game where I’ve lost by that margin and felt so good about it.”
The Chargers led after the first quarter 7-0 and many of the starters were pulled soon after.
The Chargers reserves did not play well. The starters had 96 yards in total offense in the first quarter. The reserves had a total of just 70 yards the rest of the game.
But for Lynn, he saw what he needed to see. The defense shut out Drew Brees and the Saints offense despite the absence of Joey Bosa at defensive end and the absence of both starting cornerbacks.
The Chargers are playing like a team that knows what they have and only needs the preseason to determine the final 10 roster spots on the 53-man roster.
The question is, are the Chargers Super Bowl contenders?
The answer is yes, for the following reasons:
Explosive offense. The Chargers were ranked No. 4 in total offense in the NFL last season. They were No. 1 in passing yardage. The offense got a big boost with the signing of free agent Mike Pouncey, the Pro Bowl center from the Dolphins. The talent and leadership he brings can already be seen in the running game.
Youth. The Chargers are a young group on offense. The running backs are all 25 or less. Travis Benjamin is the “old man” among the talented group of wide receivers, and he’s only 28.
Rivers still Flowing. Veteran quarterback Philip Rivers has thrown for 50,348 regular-season passing yards over his career, which is ninth most in NFL history. Rivers is 1,127 yards away from passing Hall-of-Fame quarterback John Elway.
Talented OL. The offensive line is strong. All five starters were drafted in the third round or higher. Two have been to Pro Bowls, left tackle Russel Okung and center Pouncey.
Top Five Defense. The Chargers were ranked No. 3 in scoring defense last year, allowing an average of just 17 points per game.
Great coaching staff. Anthony Lynn proved his value as head coach by navigating through a very tough 0-4 start last season but then leading the Chargers to a 9-3 finish in the final 12 games. Gus Bradley is the defensive coordinator and Kent Whisenhunt is the offensive coordinator: Both have been head coaches in the NFL.
The Chargers should be a playoff team and a Super Bowl contender if they can stay healthy and if they can find a reliable field-goal kicker. All the pieces are in place for a Super Bowl run.