The Los Angeles Chargers couldn’t have predicted an offseason like this where they’re in a position to make noise in the AFC truly for the first time in some time but, could contract disputes, position battles on defense, and potential fallout from the aforementioned contract dispute distract players and fans from what could be?
The Chargers were overlooked last season, coming out of the gate they weren’t picked by many experts to do well, and they exceeded those expectations. Now, that the expectations are higher they have a legitimate chance to compete not just within the what-will-be battle-tested AFC West, they also have a shot at the AFC crown.
But, with the news of Melvin Gordon wanting a new contract and his current holdout, it has certainly started to turn into a distraction. Star players Keenan Allen and Philip Rivers have been in the media talking about that instead of the potential explosive offense that they will be unleashing against opposing defenses this upcoming season.
Their offense will also be without left tackle Russell Okung for some time as he suffered a Pulmonary Embolism last month which shall come at an inconvenient time for an offensive line that could use some improvement upon the 34 sacks they allowed last season.
This DB group has a chance to be the best in the NFL this season.. will be keeping an eye on the rotation at FS as it’s gonna be a battle for that starting spot between Rayshawn Jenkins (has been with the first string the last two days), Jaylen Watkins and rookie Nasir Adderley pic.twitter.com/YEfmLK0L0x
— Will Struthers (@willstruthers10) July 27, 2019
The Bolts currently boast one of the best defenses themselves led by sack chasers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, with talent on the back end that consists of Derwin James and Casey Hayward. Also, as you can see in the tweet above by one of our very own, Will Struthers, there is a three-man position battle at the free safety spot that should be watched throughout camp.
It’s hard to see the Chargers carrying three bodies at the position, so it’ll be interesting to see the two top guys that win the spot, and who gets cut. This defense is among some of the other top defenses in the AFC, maybe even better, this phase of the team will be important throughout the season as they will be tasked with trying to stop all the offensive power that stands in their way in the division.
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The Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders to some degree, and somewhat Denver Broncos all carry talent on the offensive end that will challenge the Chargers’ run defense, their defensive backs, and on some Sundays both.
The team has been in the news cycle for all the wrong reasons lately and it has to be taken care of before they take on the Indianapolis Colts in the season opener on Sept. 8 which will be their first test as they will take on an Andrew Luck who will come out of the gates fired up with something to prove after an early playoff exit last year.
Whether the Chargers ‘cave in‘ or not on the reportedly $2-3 million that Gordon is asking for remains to be seen. As to the free safety position battle, that also remains to be seen, and the Russell Okung ailment, we’ll have to wait and see when Philip Rivers’ blindside protector is cleared to come back.