LA Chargers News

Grading the Chargers’ offense going into the 2018 season

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 10: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 (second from left) of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates with Spencer Pulley #73, Hunter Henry #86, and Keenan Allen #13 after scoring on a one yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Washington Redskins on December 10, 2017 at StubHub Center in Carson, California. The Chargers won 30-16. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 10: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 (second from left) of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates with Spencer Pulley #73, Hunter Henry #86, and Keenan Allen #13 after scoring on a one yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Washington Redskins on December 10, 2017 at StubHub Center in Carson, California. The Chargers won 30-16. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 24: Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to pass during the first half against the New York Jets in an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on December 24, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – DECEMBER 24: Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to pass during the first half against the New York Jets in an NFL game at MetLife Stadium on December 24, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Chargers’ offense improved in the 2017 season after producing meandering results in 2015 and 2016. What does it look like heading into the 2018 campaign?

In 2017, the Chargers were the fourth-ranked offense in the league. Compare that to the most recent seasons in 2015 and 2016, where they were ranked 14th and 11th respectively, it’s clear the team took a step forward.

This could be attributed to many things, like coaching being better under Anthony Lynn’s tenure, fewer injuries and major breakout seasons from guys like Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and Melvin Gordon.

The offense has the potential to theoretically be even better in 2018. What does the situation look like on the offensive side of the ball? Let’s go position by position to find out

QUATERBACKS

Well, we really don’t need to talk about this for too long.

While the Chargers have backup depth with guys like Cardale Jones and Geno Smith, we know they’re not playing. The leader of the offense, as has been the case for over a decade now, is still Philip Rivers.

Rivers has been a model of consistency over his career and has a completion percentage over 60 percent every year with a better than 2-1 TD-INT ratio. You know what you’re getting with him.

However, it wasn’t just the norm for Rivers in 2017.

Rivers reduced his turnovers greatly, having his fewest interceptions since 2009. The other thing that was different in 2017? Rivers was sacked for the fewest times in his career since he became the full-time starter. He was sacked just 18 times in 2017, exactly half the sacks the year before with 36 in 2016.

With less pressure on him and reduced turnovers, Rivers’ game really only gives you optimism heading into 2018.

Grade: A

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