Philip Rivers will have some great targets to throw the ball to in 2019 and because all of them will be healthy and on the field together, one of them has been recognized as the team’s X-factor player.
Mike Williams is coming off a great bounce-back season after many were already uttering the “bust” word after his rookie season. Injuries plagued him during his rookie season and an injury knocked Hunter Henry out for the entire season last year.
Because Rivers has all of them at his disposal this coming season, Pro Football Focus recognizes that Williams can be a big difference maker. That’s because defenses simply won’t be able to shut Williams, Henry and the terrific Keenan Allen down on every play. Rivers is going to find his man and the Chargers are going to carve defenses up.
For the first time, the Chargers might get to realize Williams’ full potential and the reasons they made him a first-round pick in 2017.
During his rookie season, Williams caught just 11 passes. That number jumped up to 43 in 2018 as he played in all 16 games for the team. He also caught 10 touchdowns and the unforgettable winning two-point conversion to beat the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
With Tyrell Williams now a member of the Oakland Raiders, Williams is the clear-cut No. 2 receiver on the depth chart and will likely see even more than the 66 targets he received from Rivers last year. With Henry there to draw extra attention, Williams will see a lot of single coverage and you know Rivers likes to throw the jump ball to the guys he knows can go up and get it.
Not even two years ago, many fans had thrown their hands up, declared Williams a bust and wished the draft could be done over so the Chargers could get someone like Malik Hooker, who many of those same fans wanted at the time.
Now, Williams could be a significant piece in a championship puzzle.