The Los Angeles Chargers are without Philip Rivers for the first time in 16 years. How will it work with Tyrod Taylor under center?
The Chargers win 9 or 10 games and are one of the three wild card teams. It would take some serious misfortune for the Kansas City Chiefs to not win the AFC West and even then, the Denver Broncos might be better suited.
It would be a massive win if Los Angeles make the playoffs and even win one game there, considering Derwin James is out for the season and former backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor is now taking snaps under center.
A season just like 2019.
The offensive line collapses in front of Taylor and he cannot produce with poor blocking. The team loses close games yet again because the defense keeps them in it.
The loss of James also opens up the possibility of a group weak down the middle, depending on how quickly rookie linebacker Kenneth Murray comes along (more on him below).
Four wins would be the absolute floor.
Biggest offseason move
Signing right tackle Bryan Bulaga. The Chargers needed offensive line help and Bulaga is going to be the one constant on the offensive line this season that the team can actually bank on. He will have the biggest impact for sure.
If Bulaga can stay healthy and anchor the right side, it means a huge improvement for the Bolts up front, an area they have long struggled with.
Draft pick who makes the big impact
Kenneth Murray. The Chargers’ key to unlocking an elite defense (instead of just being a good one) is to have good run defense and Murray is going to be extremely impactful in that regard. There is a reason that the team traded up for him.
Going through the Chargers’ schedule, 8-8 seems like a reasonable outcome.
The offensive line will be better than last year but will still hold Taylor back from being a guy that can take the team to new levels. This is a season in which the Chargers beat who they are supposed to beat and lose to who they are supposed to lose to — no real surprises in any direction.
A .500 record feels right.