Recently, a couple of top NFL media outlets made some predictions for the upcoming NFL season.
Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus predicted the win-loss record of every AFC for the coming season, and there are several interesting tidbits in his picks.
He picks the Chargers to finish 6-10, just a two-game improvement from a year ago. He predicts only the Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins will have a worse record in the AFC.
Here’s what Jahnke had to say about the Chargers:
“In 2015, the Chargers played a little better than their 4-12 record suggests, but not enough happened over the offseason to make us believe San Diego will be a lot better. They made some solid moves in free agency with cornerback Casey Hayward, safety Dwight Lowery, and center Matt Slauson, but they also lost talent in safety Eric Weddle (Ravens), cornerback Patrick Robinson (Colts), and wide receiver Malcom Floyd (retired). Their biggest move was adding defensive end Joey Bosa, the man with the most QB hits in college football last season (21). They simple don’t have enough star power to make a strong playoff run. Their only player with a grade above 85.0 last year—and under the age of 30—was cornerback Jason Verrett, who has yet to allow 100 passing yards in a game, and ended the season allowing just 8 and 7 yards in his last two games, respectively.”
Perhaps part of the reason why Jahnke doesn’t see the Chargers winning more than six games this season is because he feels the AFC West division is just too strong. According to his projections, all three of the other teams in the division—Oakland, Denver and Kansas City—would be in the playoffs.
He predicts that the Raiders will win the division for the first time since 2002.
This are the kind of predictions the Chargers and their fans will likely see all the way up until the season starts. Not many analysts out there believe the team will be too competitive, but when you have a guy like Philip Rivers playing quarterback, you’re always going to have a shot.
The Chargers could be in line to pull off some big upsets this season.
On that list is San Diego wide receiver Keenan Allen, who was well on his way to making a trip to the Pro Bowl last year before an injury derailed his season. As Rosenthal notes, only two players in league history had more catches than the 68 receptions Allen had through eight games last year.
Should Allen be able to stay healthy and play in the majority of the team’s games this season, he and Rivers should be able to pick up right where they left off and he should hover around the top of the AFC receiving leaders all year.
A trip to Orlando would be nice, but Allen would trade that for a spot in the playoffs any day.
What do you think of these predictions? Let us know in the comment section below.