In 2017, we saw a huge improvement in the Los Angeles Chargers’ offense after the team went 5-11 the previous season. Although the Bolts missed the playoffs and started the season 0-4, there was a huge improvement in their offense as they finished the season ranked No. 4 in that category, leading to a 9-7 record.
Los Angeles’ greatest improvement was in the offensive line as they led the league in fewest allowed sacks and opened up holes for Melvin Gordon as he ran for his first 1,000-yard season (1,105). With the acquisition of Russell Okung and the drafting of Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp, it seemed like the team was heading in the right direction from the beginning. The performance of the O-Line boosted veteran quarterback Philip Rivers’ confidence, giving him another Pro Bowl year along with the resurgence of Keenan Allen who ranked third in the league with receiving with 1,393 yards receiving.
Despite all the positives the offense still struggled in some categories and still managed to fall short of a playoff spot and really lacked consistency at times. Although the team is almost complete, here are three things that the team would need to compete and make a deep playoff run for the 2018-19 season.
A Reliable Kicker
For those who followed the season, this one is the most obvious. In a season of “What ifs”, the lack of a kicker was the most heartbreaking because the Chargers had at least two wins secured if it wasn’t for a blown opportunity by the kickers.
This year really opened the eyes of many on how valuable a kicker can be. A big reason for the Bolts slow start was due to the kicker, starting with Younghoe Koo. In his first two NFL games, he was thrown into the fire and failed to capitalize both times where he had an opportunity to step up for his team. Koo was eventually let go in favor of veteran Nick Novak, who suffered a back injury after only playing six games. The woes continued and the Chargers never really got a good kicker and in turn suffered for it, ranking dead last in the NFL in field goal percentage.
This is a main priority for the team and it seems like they might have at least started to find a kicker, signing Roberto Aguayo, who had a very successful college career that hasn’t yet translated to the next level. The 24-year old could in fact be set to compete with other kickers should the Chargers draft or pick up someone else in the offseason to find the right guy.