Chargers individual team records that could fall in 2016
By Travis Wakeman
2016 will mark season No. 57 in the history of the San Diego Chargers, dating back to their AFL days. During that time, some impressive records have been set.
LaDainian Tomlinson scored 31 touchdowns in 2006, a record that isn’t just a team record, but an all-time NFL record. He’s also the team’s all-time leading rusher with over 12,000 yards on the ground.
There have been many others, but here, we’re going to focus on some individual team records that could be broken this season. Most of this is just speculation, but speculation when it comes to NFL records is always fun to talk about.
Here are four San Diego Chargers records that you could see change this season.
Nov 30, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) catches a pass in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Most Receptions in a Single Season
Record: LaDainian Tomlinson- 100 receptions in 2003
It’s somewhat surprising that a team which had the “Air Coryell” offense for a fair length of time doesn’t have a wide receiver on top of this list. In fact, the most receptions a San Diego Charger has ever had in one season was 90, which was put up by Tony Martin in 1995.
Tomlinson had 100 receptions in his 2003 campaign, one of many team records he holds. But a running back shouldn’t be atop this list and soon, that could change.
If we’re honest, Keenan Allen would have shattered this record last season if he were able to stay healthy. Allen had 67 receptions in just eight games. This year, barring injury, he will pass the century mark.
With Philip Rivers throwing him the ball, expect Allen to be targeted early and often in games this season. He averaged 11.1 targets per game last season, and though Rivers will have some new targets such as Hunter Henry and Travis Benjamin, he will still be looking for Allen as his No. 1 receiver.
Allen will break this record eventually, and no one should be surprised if he accomplishes the feat this season.
Jun 14, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin (12) tries to catch a pass during minicamp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Kick Returns for Touchdowns in a Season
Record: 2- Held by two different players
Former San Diego wide receiver Andre Coleman actually accomplished this in two different seasons.
Though Coleman didn’t do much in the passing game, he was a great return man. In both 1994 and 1995, Coleman had two kickoff returns for a touchdown. He lasted just three seasons with the team and his kick returns are easily what he’s best remembered for.
A handful of years later, Ronney Jenkins, an undrafted running back out of Arizona, duplicated that feat.
Jenkins ran for a grand total of five yards in his three seasons with the team, but he returned two kickoffs for scores in 2001.
We feel that Travis Benjamin can not only return two kickoffs for a score, he might be able to do even better.
Benjamin has been more of a punt returner in his career, which started with the Cleveland Browns. He’s been quite successful at it as well, with three career punt returns for touchdowns. Though he only has returned 18 kickoffs in his career, he has a 26-yard average per return.
San Diego was miserable at returning kicks last season, so look for the team to use Benjamin in that role to try and find more success.
Dec 13, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Diego Chargers kicker Josh Lambo (2) kicks a field goal with punter Mike Scifres (5) holding during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City won 10-3. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Longest Field Goal in Team History
Record: 57 yards by Nate Kaeding in 2008
To this point, Nate Kaeding is the best kicker in San Diego Chargers history. But the team seems to have found a very good one in last year’s rookie, Josh Lambo.
Lambo convinced the team to release veteran Nick Novak before the season started last year, having one the kicking competition in training camp and preseason games. The team seems to have made the right choice.
Though Novak was reliable, Lambo is young and has a strong leg. He proved that last season in booting four field goals from 50 yards or more. That tied a team record which was set by Novak in 2011.
This year, Lambo will break one of Kaeding’s records. The one for longest field goal.
In 2008 in a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kaeding kicked a 57-yard field goal which was easily the longest of his career to that point. The play came on the last play of the first half and sent the Chargers into the locker room with a 10-point lead at 20-10. San Diego would go on to win that game, 41-24.
The coaching staff knows what it has in Lambo and as a result, shouldn’t be afraid to try a long one. Head coach Mike McCoy needs to give him the shot if the opportunity is there.
Though the longest field goal Lambo made last season was 54 yards, a 57-yard kick is well within his range.
Dec 24, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws the ball against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Career Passing Yards
Record: 43,040 by Dan Fouts
As long as Rivers stays healthy, this record will be his this year.
He already knocked Dan Fouts off the top of the team passing touchdowns list and now, he is on the cusp of holding the team passing yardage mark.
Fouts threw for 43,040 yards from 1973-1987 during a Hall-of-Fame career which left him as the best quarterback in Chargers history. By a wide margin.
Rivers is ready to take that crown, however, and he sits just 1,593 yards away from Fouts’ mark that has stood for nearly 30 years.
In 2015, Rivers had thrown for over 1,600 yards after the first five games of the year. If he sticks to that pace this year, he would break the record on October 9th on the road against the Oakland Raiders.