LA Chargers News

Chargers Bye Week Review : Back to the future

By Dennis J. Hassell
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Austin Ekeler of Los Angeles Chargers is brought down by Jayon Brown of Tennessee Titans during the NFL International Series match between Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers at Wembley Stadium on October 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Austin Ekeler of Los Angeles Chargers is brought down by Jayon Brown of Tennessee Titans during the NFL International Series match between Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers at Wembley Stadium on October 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
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If Los Angeles Chargers win their Kansas City rematch, the Bolts  will win their division.

To see how far the Los Angeles Chargers have come, and how far they might go, let’s take a quick look back:

On September 8, 2018,  in my first article of the season, Same Old, Same Old Bolts — or Better? I predicted the Chargers would be better on both sides of the ball.  Aside from the ultimate determiner, the Chargers’ record (2017’s 3-4 start became 5-2 this year), many stats bear out the claim that most elements of the team has quantifiably improved.

I will double down on my prediction and add that if the Chargers win their Kansas City rematch, the Bolts will win their division.

Here are some other facts in evidence:

I claimed that the Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers would, after 14 years, be even better. Rivers set a personal best with a QB rating of 137.

After seven games, Rivers ranks second in the entire league in passer rating, just one point behind Drew Brees. So Rivers is outperforming the GOAT Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, new superstar Patrick Mahomes and the rest. In his  last game, Rivers set a personal record with a QB rating of 137.

“MVP, MVP, MVP”

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images.)

I said Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler would improve. I’m not going to bother comparing their yards from scrimmage stats with last season’s, as anyone with eyes can see that Gordon and Ekeler are now Batman and Robin.

I wrote that the defense would improve. That was before the Chargers’ best defensive player Joey Bosa blew a tire. But it was also before Derwin James revealed that he is like Marvel’s Black Panther.

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The Bolts still rank 11th as an overall defense, but must prove themselves against top-tier teams, — which they failed at early against Kansas City and the Los Angeles Rams. Corey Liuget‘s return, and the play of rookies like Kyzir White and Uchenna Nwosu earned them playing time.

I wrote that the offense would get better.  Mike Pouncey has made a demonstrable difference on the Chargers’ O-Line. Mike Williams is showing his potential and still getting better week to week. Keenan Allen is still the No. 1 wide receiver, but there are so many other great options, his touchdown tally is down. For now.

I said the coaching would get better. This is a subjective category, but their improved record is a fact. Let’s hope the Chargers don’t get to 14-2, because then ownership might fire Anthony Lynn as they did Marty Schottenheimer,  an infamous assassination like the Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding. The North Remembers.

In COMMENTS below,  please share your  Pleasant Surprises and Greatest Disappointments on the season so far.

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