The NFL season kicks off in just about 70 days, so it’s time for another series of articles to begin here at Bolt Beat. Between now and opening day, I will be predicting the stats for each member of the San Diego Chargers. Well, at least those that I feel will be part of the final 53-man roster.
Of course, these predictions will be based on the player playing a full 16-game schedule. I won’t take possible injuries into account, even though we all know every player on the team isn’t going to be available in every game this year.
After projecting the stats of Philip Rivers with the first piece in this series, we’ll now jump to the defensive side of the ball, and take a look at one of the quarterbacks on defense, Manti Te’o.
Te’o hasn’t been great during his first three years with the team, but at the same time, he hasn’t been terrible either. That said, almost all Chargers fans would agree that this year is one in which the former Notre Dame linebacker will have to turn it up a notch.
Te’o has missed at least three games in each of his first three professional seasons and in order for him to become the player the Chargers need him to be, it starts right there. He needs to stay on the field.
Though Te’o played in only 12 games last season, he posted a career-high 83 tackles for the season. Those 83 tackles also led the team. Still, Te’o needs to be a more consistent tackler from the inside linebacker position. He also needs to stay focused in the passing game if he wants to stay on the field for all three downs.
Forced Fumbles: 1
Fumbler Recoveries: 0
Passes Defensed: 2
Looking at things from an extremely positive perspective, we’ll go ahead and say that Te’o surpasses each one of these numbers in 2016. We’ll say that he stays healthy and, playing in a contract year, we’ll be highly motivated.
Te’o has to know that another mediocre season will leave him looking for a new team as a free agent next year. The team brought in both Joshua Perry and Jatavis Brown through the draft as an insurance policy and both of those players are going to get a good look this season.
Te’o was a stellar college linebacker. This will be his fourth season in the NFL. It’s time to translate that talent onto the professional playing field.
2016 Projected Stats
Forced Fumbles: 2
Fumble Recoveries: 1
Passes Defensed: 6