2. The projectable year two bump with Brandon Staley and Justin Herbert
Speaking of the Chargers being a top-five offense in the NFL, there is a good chance that the Bolts are even better offensively in 2022 than they were in 2021. First of all, there is going to be fewer of the weird COVID games where the Chargers were short-staffed on offense. They still shouldn't have lost to the Houston Texans but they definitely score more if the offense wasn't so banged up.
More importantly, though, is the fact that Justin Herbert and Brandon Staley are entering their second year together. Not only does Staley have the coaching reps under him now and not only is Herbert more developed in reading NFL defenses, but the overall pairing is going to be better in year two as well.
There are so many examples that prove that a quarterback and head coach really do take a leap in the second year together. Joe Burrow and Zac Taylor took the leap in 2021, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid took the leap in 2019, Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson in 2018, Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll in 2013 and there are plenty of other examples that did not make a Super Bowl.
With Mike Williams back, Joshua Palmer being one year better and more reinforcements likely on the way, the Chargers offense has all the makings of being even better than it was in 2021. Heck, the Bolts could have the best offense in the league in 2022 and it would not be a surprise.
With that defense? Sheesh.