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Three bold predictions for the San Diego Chargers in 2016

The San Diego Chargers are coming off a dreadful season and there are mixed opinions on what to expect in 2016. I give you three bold predictions for the upcoming season.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Well, there is no sentence dawdling. To the predictions!

Prediction No. 1: Keenan Allen will set the San Diego Chargers single-season franchise record for receptions in 2016. The current mark was set by LaDainian Tomlinson in 2003. It is somewhat crazy to think that a franchise known for its prolific passing attacks has a receiving record held by a running back (even if that running back is one of the greatest to ever play the game of football). What is actually crazy is how low the record is (relatively speaking) at 100 receptions. Last season, Allen was limited to only eight games played thanks to injury, but he still managed to reel in 67 passes. That put him on pace to absolutely shatter the team record if he had been able to play a full season. While I doubt Allen will maintain that pace this season, I still like his chances to eclipse 100 receptions.

Prediction No. 2: The San Diego defense will be in the top half of the league in rushing defense by DVOA. In 2015, the Chargers had the second worst rushing defense by DVOA. The additions via free agency and the draft of nose tackle Brandon Mebane, defensive end Joey Bosa, and linebackers Jatavis Brown and Joshua Perry will go a long way toward shoring up the front seven. Perhaps most important, though, will be second-year linebacker Denzel Perryman playing a full season in place of Donald Butler's shambling corpse. Sean Lissemore and Ryan Carrethers finding themselves in backup roles rather than being forced into the starting lineup will also do a lot to bolster the depth of a defensive line that was far, far too thin in past seasons.

Prediction No. 3: The San Diego Chargers will once again field a top 10 offense. The addition of Matt Slauson and the presumed improved health of the offensive line in general will make the already talented skill position players look that much better. Philip Rivers looked like an MVP candidate before he lost his top receiver and his offensive line fell to pieces. He looked even better a few seasons ago when he got to play in Ken Whisenhunt's offense (which he will again this year). Melvin Gordon is returning from injury, but it's hard to imagine him playing worse than he did in 2015, so I'm going to expect some improvement there. He will get some help from the drafting of Hunter Henry (finally, a tight end that can catch and block competently) and the signing of Travis Benjamin (get those safeties out of the box or prepare to be burned deep). The improved defense should also result in fewer games where the offense is forced into desperate situations which should help with efficiency.

Those are my predictions. I will honestly be surprised if none of them come to pass. Do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments what your bold prediction for 2016 will be.