Preseason is in full swing, and you can see week 1 of the regular season rapidly approaching in the distance. Let’s go over a few reasons I believe Chargers fans should be excited about the new season.
Philip Rivers is still Philip Rivers
They say a ship is nothing without a captain. Fortunately, the Chargers have one of the finest captains across the vast turf sea. Yep, it all starts and ends with #17. At 34 years old, Philip Rivers is still a phenomenal quarterback, one capable of taking his team to the promised land. Until last season, no Rivers led team had ever finished with more than nine losses. That’s nine out of ten seasons with a record of 8-8 or better. What that says, to me at least, is that last season was an anomaly. It says that one too many things went wrong. So terribly wrong in fact, that even a team with a quarterback of Rivers caliber could not overcome its deficiencies. The good news is that it’s a new season, and Rivers is still Rivers. He is still one of the most cerebral QB's in the game, capable of picking a defense apart in his mind before the snap of the ball. He is still a quarterback who can shred an opponent with pinpoint accuracy. He is still a quarterback who can throw for five-hundred yards in a single game when his team is down, and he’s all they got. And he is still the quarterback with a fire that burns hotter than any other player in the league. You’ve heard this before, but the Chargers have a chance to win as long as Philip Rivers remains under center.
Keenan Allen returns from injury
Keenan Allen is back after last seasons lacerated kidney, ready to force his way into every discussion regarding the league’s top receiver. One of the smoothest receivers around, Allen will once again be the focal point of the Chargers aerial attack. During the second half of last season this offense sorely missed the skill set that Keenan brings to the table, they simply could not replace him. Having Allen back is, in my opinion, the biggest boost to the Chargers offense, more than any single player acquisition. His superb route running and veteran savvy make covering him an extremely difficult task for any defensive back, and his sure hands make him one of Philip Rivers most reliable targets. I can’t wait to see the kind of show Allen puts on this season.
Joey Bosa will instantly improve the defense
Yeah yeah, we are all familiar with the contract fiasco. But when Joey Bosa gets here, he is going to make us forget all about it. He wasn’t Pro Football Focus' number one prospect as well as Garrett Sisti and Jamie Hoyle's hand-picked draft choice ( #bosatrain) for no reason. The second Bosa steps on the game field he will provide an instant impact along the defensive front. It’s no secret the Chargers desperately need help stopping the run. Luckily, Bosa happens to excel in that area of his game. Maybe with that added skill, Pagano won’t have to fruitlessly stack the box with eight defenders quite as much, leaving the secondary out to dry in the process should the opposing team decide to pass. Bosa is also a savvy pass rusher, another area where the Chargers could use the help. Will Bosa alone make this a stellar defense? No. But it will be a lot better than it is without him, you can count on that.
Ken Whisenhunt is back!
Please Wiz, don’t ever leave us again! Oh, what a long two seasons it was without him. Two seasons filled with enough shotgun runs that I don’t ever care to see another. But that’s all in the past now. From the looks of the Chargers first preseason game, Whisenhunt, and the offense are picking up right where they left off in 2013. That play design to get Melvin Gordon all alone out in space was a thing of beauty. The creativity he brings back to this offense is enough to get excited about just by itself. When you think about all the new toys he has to play with this season compared to 2013, it just gets better. New fan favorite Hunter Henry should be heavily involved in the offense; Tyrell Williams is a matchup nightmare, and Travis Benjamin can be an absolute weapon. Wiz will probably even make sure Gordon gets into the end zone when it actually counts. This Whisenhunt offense is going to be exciting to watch.