Are the Los Angeles Chargers overrated?
What?! You’re calling my team overrated?! How dare you!
How many of you have said that when a writer hated on your favorite team? Don’t lie, I know all of you have. I get a little heated myself, regardless of if it’s true or not. We’re overzealous, but we got our team’s back!
Getting to the point.. Bleacher Report revealed what they believe are the NFL’s most overrated teams entertaining training camp. According to the author, Mike Tanier, the six teams listed aren’t bad teams, but it was based on both fans’ and experts’ current opinions of those respective teams (also determined by the Super Bowl odds posted by OddsShark), while giving his own opinion on how good they actually are.
With the Chargers’ Super Bowl odds currently set at 35-1, they made Tanier’s list as the No. 5 most overrated team. The Dallas Cowboys (No. 6), New England Patriots (No. 4), Houston Texans (No. 3), Carolina Panthers (No. 2) and San Francisco 49ers (No. 1) were the others.
Despite getting a ton of hype for the upcoming season, including a lot of love from ESPN, the Chargers haven’t accomplished much of anything in recent years. The last time they made the playoffs was in 2013, and the last time they won their own division was in 2009. So you can’t fault Tanier for wanting to stay away from the Chargers.
However, I disagree with his assessment of the roster.
“The Chargers are like the Cowboys in that they have some formidable strengths (the pass-rushers, Philip Rivers, Keenan Allen) and many weaknesses (zero depth anywhere) that are easy to overlook if you are not paying attention. Since no one is paying attention and the front-line talent is spiffy, the Chargers look like the strongest team in the AFC West, and the odds reflect that.”
Comparing the Chargers to the Cowboys is a mistake. The Chargers have a better overall roster, including a future Hall of Famer in quarterback Philip Rivers, who is still performing at a high level after finishing second in passing yards last year, an actual No. 1 wideout in Keenan Allen, who set career highs across the board after returning from a torn ACL, the best pass-rush tandem in the league with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and a dominant secondary led by Casey Hayward and promising rookie Derwin James. I’d even argue that the coaching staff is better.
The only difference is that the Cowboys have a better running back in Ezekiel Elliott and a better offensive line. But Melvin Gordon and an upgraded Chargers’ line are trending in the right direction. Look for Gordon, who surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career last year, to have his best season yet.
It’s also clear that he doesn’t know this team well because for the first time in a long time, the Chargers have very few weaknesses and are very deep at almost every position except tight end (Hunter Henry is out for season with a torn ACL). That’s what happens when you draft well, retain your star players and sign the right players in free agency.
And if I were to call the Chargers something, I’d go with unlucky. We know the injury bug has always bitten them harder than most, though last year wasn’t as bad. They would have made the playoffs if it weren’t for their kicking debacle, which consisted of four different players attempting a field goal last season. Oh, and don’t forget the close losses caused by other mistakes, like fumbling while trying to run out the clock and picking off the opposing QB twice in the final two minutes AND STILL LOSE. Darn you, Josh Lambo (people don’t forget!). Of their seven losses, five were one-score games.
Baffling, frustrating and downright upsetting? Yes. But overrated? I don’t think so. If the Chargers can stay healthy and work out the kinks, this team will go on to do big things in 2018.