2020 was a tumultuous season for the LA Chargers in general, but a few players had particularly rough seasons.
The expectations for the 2020 LA Chargers were mixed to say the least. Some people truly believed they could be a playoff team while others thought this was 4-12 waiting to happen. The answer ended up somewhere in the middle.
The Bolts’ 3-9 start was clearly too costly to overcome despite four straight wins. Anthony Lynn’s situational football tactics played a role in the team not playing up to the level they could’ve, but it falls on the team as well. The performances of these players aren’t necessarily the sole reason the team finished the way they did. It was surely disappointing to not see more from them though.
Like last year’s list, I’ve decided to omit players who dealt with injuries for extended periods of time. It was certainly not fun to see players like Bryan Bulaga or Trai Turner come in and out of the lineup, but injuries are almost always out of a player’s control.
Michael Badgley became a liability for the Chargers in 2020. He was proficient in his first two years, making 28/32 field goals for an 87.5% make rate. This season, he was 24/33.
That may not seem like a massive drop, but it is when looking at distance. Badgley did not miss a field goal from 20-29 yards or 30-39 yards. However, he went 8-13 from 40-49 yards and 2-6 from 50+. From 40+ yards, Badgley converted 52.5% of the time.
We could talk about the specific moments, like the disastrous miss against the Saints or misses in both Raiders games, but to me the problem is more situational. Anthony Lynn and the Chargers’ coaching staff could not trust their kicker from 40+ yards out. That’s a massive problem in the NFL.
No one expects Badgley to be Justin Tucker. At the same time, he was missing kicks from 40 yards in empty stadiums. That’s kind of indescribably bad.
Badgley will return for training camp but has to receive stiff competition with other kickers brought in. There are ways Badgley can recover in 2021. It’s dependent on fixing everything from his form to his mental state though. The Chargers cannot have a 50/50 chance at making field goals from 40+ yards out.