Chargers are the AFC's best team according to updated unit grades

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Excitement around the LA Chargers is at an all-time high this summer as the team just had perhaps the most aggressive offseason in franchise history to build on an already great foundation in place. Despite missing the playoffs last year, it is safe to say that the Chargers are contenders for the Super Bowl.

Of course, the team has to go out and prove it every Sunday that they are as talented as we think. This is not the first time that the Bolts have had high expectations heading into the season and typically it leads to disappointment. This season is different though.

Not only do the Chargers have an elite young quarterback that could contend for the MVP award next season but the team legitimately has one of the most talented rosters in the sport. ESPN NFL analyst Mike Clay put out his updated unit grades for the 2022 season and not only were the Chargers one of the best teams in the league but they were the best team in the entire AFC.

As seen above, the margin between the top four teams is razor thin with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chargers, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills all cementing a 3.0 grade. Not only are the Chargers among the best in the league in these unit grades, but they are also the only team in the entire league to rank in the top five in both offense and defense.

The LA Chargers might be even better than the unit grades project as well.

Granted, this is looking at the team in an optimistic light but the two biggest weaknesses of the Chargers in these unit grades might not even be weaknesses. Offensively, the tight end position received the lowest grade despite the position group having a lot of potential.

Gerald Everett is going to be worlds better than Jared Cook was for the team last season and with how important tight end is in this offense, this could finally be Everett's breakout year. While the Bolts do not have a star tight end, they have exceptionally good depth as they have a well-above-average red-zone target in Donald Parham as well as a run-blocking tight end in Tre' McKitty with elite potential.

Defensively, the biggest weakness for the Bolts is the defensive line. While I would argue that linebacker probably deserves to be the lowest, the defensive line is exactly what the Chargers need it to be. There may not be an elite pass-rusher in the interior but it is stout against the run and is going to allow Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack to go to work on the edge.

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The interior offensive line will be a positive portion of the Chargers' defense as long as it stays healthy. It might not be one of the best in the league but it does deserve better than a 0.8 grade.