Chargers Draft

10 stats Chargers need to improve upon heading into 2020

CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 15: Middle linebacker Eric Kendricks #54 of the Minnesota Vikings forces a fumble by running back Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers allowing defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo #95 of the Minnesota Vikings to grab the ball and run for a touchdown in the second quarter of the game at Dignity Health Sports Park on December 15, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - DECEMBER 15: Middle linebacker Eric Kendricks #54 of the Minnesota Vikings forces a fumble by running back Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers allowing defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo #95 of the Minnesota Vikings to grab the ball and run for a touchdown in the second quarter of the game at Dignity Health Sports Park on December 15, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 15: Middle linebacker Eric Kendricks #54 of the Minnesota Vikings forces a fumble by running back Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers allowing defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo #95 of the Minnesota Vikings to grab the ball and run for a touch down in the second quarter of the game at Dignity Health Sports Park on December 15, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA – DECEMBER 15: Middle linebacker Eric Kendricks #54 of the Minnesota Vikings forces a fumble by running back Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers allowing defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo #95 of the Minnesota Vikings to grab the ball and run for a touch down in the second quarter of the game at Dignity Health Sports Park on December 15, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Chargers stat: 20.7 yards per kick return and 5.4 yards per punt return

I feel bad for including King twice, but this much is inescapable: The Chargers regressed in kickoff and punt returns.

According to Pro Football Reference, King was dead last in yards per punt return. Did anyone see that coming following such a tremendous 2018 campaign?

OLHA O REI! DESMOND KING! Ele simplesmente retornou SETENTA E TRÊS JARDAS PARA O TOUCHDOWN! OS @CHARGERS EMPATAM O JOGO! #NFLBrasil #NFLnaESPN #LACvsPIT #SNF pic.twitter.com/uMnSlfxACm

— NFL Brasil (@NFLBrasil) December 3, 2018

If anyone can bounce back, it’s King, who seems to always find a way to prove doubters wrong in the end.

Chargers stat: 11 fumbles from offensive skill position players

Interceptions are not uncommon in the NFL, with even Most Valuable Player front-runner Lamar Jackson throwing six in the regular season (which is a solid number). A throw can be tipped or bounce off of the receiver’s hands, which isn’t always the fault of the quarterback.

What’s more unforgivable, in my opinion, are fumbles. The Chargers, doing their best impression of Oprah or Ellen, were giving the ball away like a free trip to Hawaii. On the season, the Chargers (not counting quarterbacks or returners) fumbled the ball 11 times, with Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler fumbling four and three times, respectively.

Chargers stat: Giving up an average of 5.4 points per game in the first quarter

Gus Bradley’s defense gave up an average of 5.1 points in the fourth quarter in 2019, eighth-best in the NFL and ahead of teams like the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers.

In the first quarter, however, it appears teams are more than prepared to attack his defense. The Chargers give up 5.4 points per game in the first quarter, 24th in the NFL.

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