Last season, the San Diego Chargers were expected to, as usual falter and miss the playoffs. Leading up to the season, Chargers starting quarterback Philip Rivers was thought to be washed up. He was relatively successful in the earlier half of the decade; however, he hadn’t been able to pick up the slack left by a transitioning team. When RB LaDainian Tomlinson was on the team, the Chargers were able to succeed because, when in doubt, they would just give the ball to LT, and he would very often come up with the first down. Since then, the Chargers have been struggling to find an identity and Philip Rivers was trying to adapt as a quarterback; however, he was never really able to become an elite quarterback. That is, until last season.
In 2013, though everyone had doubts that Philip Rivers would succeed, he was much better than expected, leading to the Chargers to making a great run. The biggest impact player on the team, other than Rivers was WR Kennan Allen, and if last season was just a taste of what this kid can do, then he should do even better next season. As a rookie, Allen became Philip’s favorite receiver, totaling over 70 receptions and 1000 yards. Normally, rookie plays are the ones who are nervous. Look at the New England Patriots – their two rookie wide receivers, Thompkins and Dobson, looked very poor in their first season, but this was expected and blamed on first year jitters. Keenan Allen already looks as though that he can be a WR1 on any team, and the fact that he will only get better in his sophomore season should actually make defenders a bit scared. Analysts always say that, for wide receivers, they will begin their rise in their second or third year. Considering Allen put up over 1000 yards in a new system last season, you can expect him to accumulate over 1500 in 2014.
Aside from this, the other promising factors for the Chargers came through their draft. Last season, though the Chargers made a great run, they were absolutely terrible against the passing game of opposing teams. Because the Chargers are in the AFC, pass defense in a major issue. Every season, they have to play against Tom Brady, Joe Flacco, Peyton Manning, and more, and they simply cannot let these quarterbacks play with open men. Due to this, drafting a strong CB was a major priority for them. To fill this gap, they drafted Jason Verrett with the 25th pick overall. While in college, Varrett was considered to be one of the top corners in the game, and he should have no problem making the team in San Diego. Staying with defense, the Chargers also drafted pass-rusher Jeremiah Attaochu from Georgia Tech. He is one of the best pass stopping players in the NFL, and he is probably the best line pass-rusher to come out of the draft since Chandler Jones. You can expect both of these players to be starters on opening day.