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Why the San Diego Chargers Won't Make the Playoffs

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Here is why the San Diego Chargers have not done enough to play meaningful football in January this season.

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Before you scroll straight to the bottom and call me all kinds of names, please note that this is only the first of two articles, and you can probably guess what the second one is. That being said, let's jump right in.

Depth

The starting offense and defense of the Chargers is very strong. The secondary, receiving corps, and even the running back group all boast solid depth, but that is about it. The offensive line does not have a proven commodity at any of the backup spots, and the defensive line only has one player in Corey Liuget who has consistently played at an above-average level. At outside linebacker, San Diego is counting on Melvin Ingram, who has missed a very large portion of each of the past 2 seasons, and Jerry Attaochu, who only saw 182 snaps in his rookie year (largely due to injury) to make up for the snaps lost when Dwight Freeney and Jarret Johnson left the team. Kyle Emanuel has been impressive, especially for a 5th round rookie, but I am not at all excited about him starting multiple games this season, and it's rather likely to happen.

Philip Rivers' Back

This isn't something that has been discussed much, and maybe that's because it's not an issue. But back issues don't tend to just go away. Number 17 was MVP quality for the better part of the first half of last year, but back issues led to some questionable play as the season went on. The Chargers made a number of improvements to the roster in the offseason, but none of it will matter is Rivers is as injured as he was last year.

Will It All Come Together?

The Bolts looked overall like a strong team in the preseason, but there were a few areas that need some tune up. Most notably, the offensive line. The unit is playing with a new starter at left guard in Orlando Franklin, new right tackle in Joe Barksdale, and new right guard DJ Fluker. They had some strong moments (usually in the ground game) and some moments of confusion (i.e. Fluker getting used to pass protection inside). Also, Melvin Gordon looked hesitant in his first professional action, and Keenan Allen had some uncharacteristic drops. All of these things like this are fixable, but how do we know how long it will take? Can Gordon just decide to become more decisive? What happens if the O-line doesn't come together until week 9?

The Chargers roster has gotten stronger each year under Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy, but there is still plenty to be concerned about.