A few days ago, long-time San Diego Union-Tribune Chargers reporter Kevin Acee wrote an article with a positive outlook for next year. Acee’s main point in the piece is that the San Diego Chargers have the potential to be a very good team next year.
”We’re going to be set up like we were in ’06 to ’09 — that run,” Philip Rivers said.
While this sentiment doesn’t seem to be shared amongst most Chargers fans, the players certainly are feeling positively about next year — so much so that Antonio Gates says he’s coming back for one more shot at the Lombardi trophy.
“I feel like we have a legitimate chance,” Gates said. “I know the cliche. But I’m saying, legitimately, we should have a chance. Top to bottom, what we we’re going to be able to do, what we’re still able to do now even with the guys we’ve lost. I feel like in my heart we have a chance to win a Super Bowl next year.”
While having Gates back for one more year is a comforting idea, is Acee’s and the players’ positivity justified?
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Of course, any team with playoff and/or Super Bowl aspirations needs to believe they can do it before they even try, but the Chargers have shown us time and time again that despite the talented personnel they bring in, they don’t get the job done. What’s going to be different next year that will allow the Chargers to make that run? Not to mention the anticipated relocation to Los Angeles isn’t exactly the spark teams look for to make a playoff run.
All things considered, it looks like Mike McCoy and the rest of the coaching staff will be back next year. As Chargers fans know, the team has a terrible fourth quarter point differential this year. They’ve taken leads into the final frame and failed to close it out multiple times. With that in mind, it appears as though Acee and the players think that the return of a group of important players (Keenan Allen and Jason Verrett to name a couple) and the continuing development of young talent (Jatavis Brown, Melvin Gordon, Tyrell Williams) will lead the Chargers on this run.
This idea makes sense, but what tells us the Chargers won’t get bitten by the injury bug yet again next year? It’s a pessimistic way to look at things, but it’s a fact that it happens every year. Not only does it happen, but it’s important players that suffer these major injuries.
My take: the Chargers will get back over .500 next year, but will once again miss the playoffs. Even if they get lucky and everyone is healthy, they’re still in a division with three AFC powerhouses. Only time will tell how the Chargers will fare in 2017.