Are the Los Angeles Chargers overrated or underrated?
By Matt Pagels
The Los Angeles Chargers have been getting a ton of hype going into the 2017 NFL season. Do the Bolts deserve it?
“What do you see right now? You see exactly and only what I choose to show you. That is illusion, that is the lie that I tell your eyes, making the magic happen in the moment, in that split second, but seeing behind that and knowing…that it’s all bull****.” – Smokin’ Aces (2006)
That’s a line from Jeremy Piven’s Buddy Israel, an illusionist and snitch in the 2006 film Smokin’ Aces. Why am I using this very quote, you ask?
Well, with the Los Angeles Chargers, they appear to be a very good football team on paper. I mean, that’s what we’ve been told over the course of seven-plus months.
Most recently, The Washington Post’s Mike Renner wrote a very persuasive piece on why the Chargers will be the NFL’s breakout team in the AFC.
But will general manager Tom Telesco and Co. put a good product out on the field? Because of what we’ve been fed, it’s what we’ve come to expect. After two meaningless but underwhelming preseason performances (and again, it’s only preseason), what were high expectations have us wondering: Will the Chargers really be able to turn things around in 2017?
We can’t forget that the Bolts finished last two years in a row and are playing in arguably the toughest division in football. We can’t forget that they have a new head coach leading them. We can’t forget that they are playing in a new city. More importantly, we can’t forget that they are one of the most injury-prone teams in the entire league.
Are the Chargers talented? Yes, I truly believe they are. Is the league really trying to promote their new L.A. brand so much so that they’re overselling the Chargers as playoff contenders? It’s hard to argue against it.
As bad is it was last year, I think, with some good luck for once, the Chargers have a chance to surprise this year. Like I said in a recent interview with SB Nation Radio, the Chargers can go 10-6 or 6-10, which is why they are so frustrating to watch.
They have plenty of impact players on both sides of the ball and a star quarterback in Philip Rivers. If the offensive line can just be AVERAGE (the unit played poorly three consecutive years), along with the team being able to close out games (they lost six games in which they had a lead in the fourth quarter last season, per ESPN) and avoid major injuries to key players (though they already lost second-round OL Forrest Lamp and starting ILB Denzel Perryman to injuries), then maybe we’ll see how good this team can be.
As far as expectations go, winning changes everything. Let’s see if the Chargers can do just that when the games count.