Two games in, and the San Diego Chargers have two meaningless wins. So, what is there to take out of the preseason so far?
Branden Oliver should be the team's primary rusher
This is not meant to be a slight to rookie first rounder Melvin Gordon, who has loads of talent. This simply means that the team can get more out of Oliver at this point. Gordon missed the last game with an ankle injury, while Oliver continued to show his decisiveness and elusiveness. The rookie may take a while to find his groove, and that is perfectly okay. For now, Branden Oliver provides more stability on an every down basis than MGIII.
The offensive line may take time to come together
The only current starters on the Chargers' offensive line that finished last season in the same spot are left tackle King Dunlap and center Chris Watt. The team brought in Orlando Franklin and Joe Barksdale and moved D.J. Fluker inside to guard, meaning that there is essentially a 60% turnover on the O-line. Mike McCoy has (finally!) put the best five lineman on the field, but there's plenty to be worked out, especially with Fluker's transition being so new.
The preseason has been up and down for the starting five but expect there to be much more up than down as the games pile up. This group has a chance to be truly great, especially when it comes to run blocking.
Mike Nolan is a wizard
Donald Butler playing aggressively? Jerry Attaouchu setting the edge? Melvin Ingram with a Dwight Freeney-esque spin move? What is happening?
What appears to be happening is that the coaching staff is getting the most out of the players' talent. For years, Charger fans have been groaning about how the team's defense looks to have talent but fails to produce at a high level. Now, even after losing Dwight Freeney and Jarret Johnson, the Bolts will be okay at the linebacker position, especially with how well 5th-round rookie Kyle Emanuel has been playing.
I am giving the credit to new linebackers coach Mike Nolan, who seems to be doing a great job.
Get used to the defensive line rotation
The team re-signed Corey Liuget, but the Tom Telesco regime has not made an effort to bring in a high-profile defensive lineman. I also do not expect that to change. With Ricardo Mathews rotating in on passing downs, and Mitch Unrein providing solid backup, the defensive line actually looks to be in decent shape. I'm not confident that Kendall Reyes is even the team's fifth best defensive lineman, but with a constant rotation I have become less upset with the idea of him as a starter.
The Chargers have zero chance without Philip Rivers
No shocker here, but Kellen Clemens is awful. Not only is he a bad #2 quarterback, but the rest of the offense seems to play down to his level. A fumbled snap, inaccurate passes, and dropped passes give a bad image of what would be to come if something happened to El Capitan. As talented as this team is, I am not sure they could win six games without Rivers.
Knock on wood about a thousand times, but please stay healthy number 17.