At first I was going to ask how many, but that felt overly optimistic.
Now, just to be clear, when I ask if there are any impact players on the team I'm referring to players that actually help the Chargers win. Obviously guys like Jared Gaither and Robert Meachem have had a huge impact on games, but that's not the kind we're talking about here (okay, Crean?). I'm sure everyone has different ideas of what qualifies as an impact player, so I'll try to offer you a definition: a player that is capable of making game changing plays and that alters how the opposing team game plans for the Chargers.
There are a number of guys you can make an argument for on this team. The most obvious one is Eric Weddle. The free safety is the only player on the team that can claim to be the best in the NFL at his position. Last season he led the league in interceptions despite hardly ever being thrown at. Teams still barely ever target him. He's one of the surest tacklers on the team (if not the surest) and nobody else gets pressure as consistently when rushing the passer. He's far and away the best player on the team. If you don't think he's an impact player you can probably scroll down and vote zero now.
The defense offers two other players that some might argue are impact players or on their way to becoming impact players. Corey Liuget is one of the better defensive linemen in the NFL and is second only to J.J. Watt in batting passes down at the line. He's an excellent run defender and also generates pressure when rushing the passer. The other is linebacker Donald Butler. Butler is certainly one of the flashier players on defense and he has made a handful of big time, game changing plays. In my view he's still not an impact player, but your mileage may vary.
On offense, the only guy that I think you can make a strong case for is Philip Rivers and to make that case you have to ignore practically this entire season and chalk it up to him having no time to throw. The rest of the offense has nobody that rises above "high quality complementary player." You don't have to change your game plan for Malcom Floyd, Danario Alexander or Ryan Mathews. Antonio Gates is no where near the player he once was and the fact that he still draws double coverage says more about his teammates than it does about him.
Let us know in the comments which way you voted and why.
Are there any impact players on this team?
No. There are zero impact players on this team. (32 votes)
Yes. Eric Weddle. Nobody else. (113 votes)
Yes. There are at least two. (145 votes)
Yes. There are at least three. (118 votes)
Yes. There are more than three. (Also, I'm insane) (48 votes)
456 total votes