As I am sure you are all well aware by now, the boys over at Pro Football Focus have been doing a series of ranking the position groups of all 32 teams. This time, it was the Running Backs, and the Chargers ranked as poorly as they have in many of the other position groups.
The Chargers came in at 27th overall. PFF is pretty purely stats driven, so based on the performance of the running game last season, this is not a surprise at all. They do excuse Melvin Gordon a little for the poor blocking he dealt with last year. However, they do highlight his fumbling issue, and I am sure his lack of any touchdowns weighed pretty heavily here as well. They dock Danny Woodhead for only breaking two tackles on 98 carries, but if we're honest, he more than did his job last year.
This group should see improvement this year. The line is back healthy and has added Matt Slauson and Max Tuerk up front. Gordon can only improve on what he did last year. The team has a real FB, or 2 if the Swain Train makes it. The Wiz is back calling plays. Honestly, this could jump all the way up into the teens for next year.
As far as the rest of the AFC West?
The Raiders aren't graded much better, 24th. They don't really have any big names at the RB position, but with PFF's 2nd graded offensive line they will out perform their ranking.
The Broncos come in at 15 due solely to CJ Anderson. The Broncos are almost starting over on the offensive line this season besides C Matt Paradis and they are starting over at QB, so they will likely have to rely on the running game early. The volume of carries the Broncos will have this year should at least keep them around this ranking from a production standpoint, but it will all depend on how quickly their line can get in a rhythm.
The Chiefs are all the way up at number 3. When Jamaal Charles is healthy, he is probably the best RB in the league right now. But even if he goes down they have depth in Charcandric West, Spencer Ware, and Knile Davis, all of whom could probably push to start on a few teams in the league.
Training Camp is only a few weeks away now, and we will all start to get an idea of whether the Chargers RBs can outperform their low ranking.