Each team has different seasonal goals based on their performance in the previous year. What should be the Chargers standard of success in 2019?
After a 12-4 regular season record and one playoff win in 2018, many Chargers fans are proclaiming the only successful season for this team would be a Super Bowl win. Is this really what the standard of success should be for the Chargers, or should something slightly less successful still be considered a good season?
Of course, a Super Bowl win is an excellent goal to have, and it was exciting when Melvin Ingram declared the Lombardi Trophy was coming to Los Angeles this year:
It's Super Bowl or bust for Los Angeles Chargers edge rusher Melvin Ingram, who reported to OTA's for the first time this offseason on Monday. Asked what he is most excited this season, Ingram said winning the Super Bowl,… https://t.co/lTEioi3acs pic.twitter.com/HAdUwl0v69
— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) June 4, 2018
Most fans would prefer one Super Bowl win and several poor seasons as opposed to several seasons in a row of playoff appearances with no wins. However, as Chargers fans know well, Super Bowls are extremely hard to win. If a championship was always the standard of success, then the Chargers have never had a successful season in 53 years.
To help decide what a successful year should be for the Chargers, one needs to look at the shape of the roster in the future. If the organization cannot bring home the Lombardi this year, would it be the end of the road for this group?
While the Chargers will have some expensive free agents to re-sign next year, there are only a few major players that Tom Telesco has to retain to keep the main core together. According to Spotrac.com, some key Chargers players entering unrestricted free agency in 2020 are Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, Mike Pouncey, Michael Schofield, Hunter Henry, Adrian Phillips, and Jatavis Brown. As long as Rivers and a few of those free agents return, there would be no reason to believe that the Super Bowl window has closed.
A successful year in 2019 would show a step forward for a team who made it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs last season. For now, the standard of success should be, at the very least, an AFC Championship appearance. This is a high standard, yet acknowledges this is not a Super Bowl-or-bust year; however, expect that season to come soon.