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Things I am Thankful For: 2016 Chargers Edition

NFL: Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

During the Thanksgiving Holiday, people reflect and remember all the things they are thankful for. Sometimes it is nice to take a step back and really appreciate all of the things in life that matter. And despite a 4-6 season, numerous injuries to key players, a head coach that finds ways to lose games in historic fashion, and a stadium saga that feels never ending, there are things to be thankful for as a Chargers fan. So on that note here is my Chargers Thankful list.

Philp Rivers

Is there anyone in the NFL more underrated than 17? Rivers still has yet to miss a game in 170 regular season games, which is incredible for the amount of hits he has taken over the last 13 seasons. He continues to post top tier quarterback numbers (currently fourth in the league in passing yards despite all the injuries!). There are very few better than 17 at understanding defenses and how to exploit them. That is how he became the Chargers all-time leading passing leader and 17 still has some elite years ahead of him. He is a true student of the game that plays the game the right way.

Besides his stellar play, Philip Rivers is one of the top leaders in the NFL. There are not many players in the NFL that truly lead a locker room, Rivers is the unquestioned leader in the locker room and has gained every player respect on the team and across the league. Rivers is a vocal leader and leads by example. This translates on the field. Rivers is always fired up to play, the energy he brings is rivaled by no one.

Rivers is one of a kind, a true class act on and off the field. Rivers does so much for this community and as a San Diegan, this matters just as much as his great play. Charger fans are looking at the Cowboys, Eagles, and Titans dreaming about the next future quarterback but I have a newsflash for you. No one can just come in and replace what Philip Rivers has done for this franchise and fans do not know it yet but he will be missed when it is time for him to hang them up.

Chargers Young Talent

If one thing can be taken away from this season it is the development of the Chargers young stellar talent. The future is bright for this roster as a lot of players have shown flashes of what to come. The exciting thing is that these players should only get better. This young core includes Joey Bosa, Denzel Perryman, Jatavis Brown, Jason Verrett, Melvin Gordon, Tyrell Williams, and Hunter Henry. All of these players have shown flashes of being above average to great players in this league.

Tom Telesco had his best draft yet and that does not even account for two rookie offensive linemen that showed flashes in camp in Max Tuerk and Donavon Clark. This draft brought in potential defensive rookie of the year and top pass rusher Joey Bosa. Joey Bosa is the real deal and it will be fun to watch him cause havoc on opposing quarterbacks for years to come. On top of that great pick, Telesco picked the tight end of the future that has the looks of an easy transition when Antonio Gates retires. Hunter Henry has been great catching passes and run blocking. Jatavis Brown has shown he was the steal of the draft and has the skillset to be an elite inside linebacker in this league. The Chargers also got a solid starting punter, a quality fullback, and good depth at inside linebacker.

The future is bright for the Chargers with its variety of impactful young players. I am thankful that General Manager Telesco can scout out talent to put on this roster. (Now only if he can hire a coach that can get the most out of this talent!)

Matt Slauson

Slauson has solidified a position that was a revolving door the past two seasons. He has come in and immediately taken the reigns of this offensive line. The thing I am most thankful for about Matt Slauson is his attitude. Man, has San Diego missed a tough guy on the Oline. Slauson not only jumped on Saints defenders that were cheap shots at Rivers but then came out and said he did not regret the penalty but wish he did more. He followed that gem was publically criticizing his coaching staff for not running the ball in Denver on the goal line.

These are the kind of Olinemen I want on my team. Tough as nails willing to do anything for his team. He is physical and isn’t afraid to say it how it is. I wish we had four other guys on this Oline like Slauson because I love the attitude he plays with.

Charger Games

I know the record is not where it should be but have you seen the prime time games on national television this season. It has not been pretty. I can say every Chargers game thus far has been entertaining and fun games to watch. They are always close and always have an array of touchdowns and turnovers. They rip your heart out but at least the games are watchable. I will forever be thankful for Chargers football.

Honorable Mentions

Melvin Gordon’s resurgence

Ken Whisenhunt’s play calling