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The Ringer: Chargers will be one of the worst teams in the NFL

The Ringer's Robert Mays ranks the Chargers at the bottom of the league in his 2016 Preview.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The beginning of the 2016 NFL season is right around the corner and to kick things off, The Ringer's Robert Mays has released his take on the upcoming NFL season. Despite a few offseason additions and relatively decent draft, the Chargers still remain at the bottom of Mays' list. Putting all biases aside, I have to agree mostly with Mays' analysis of the Chargers' season. Mays goes into DVOA, which for those who may not be completely versed on DVOA, stands for "Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average." DVOA is the measurement of a team's efficiency by comparing that team's success on every single play to a league average based on situation and opponent faced. For a more detailed explanation, visit the Football Outsider's page. Mays' article does not seem overly pessimistic, but in fact reasonable on the Chargers' strengths and areas that could use improvement. Mays was understanding towards Philip Rivers and the Chargers plague of injuries last season.

Philip Rivers just can’t seem to catch a break. For the past two seasons, the Chargers have seen their offensive potential ruined by injuries along the offensive line. It felt like San Diego was playing with a new combination of guys up front every week, and for as good as Rivers has been during the past couple of years, he hasn’t been able to overcome the medical issues his offense has experienced.
Mays goes on to recognize that the Chargers'  O-line has been upgraded, but needs to remain healthy to keep the offense on track.
In terms of projecting how the Chargers could be better in 2016, health is the key. After signing center Matt Slauson, they boast the best group of offensive linemen they’ve had in quite some time. Now, it’s just a matter of keeping everybody on the field.
Overall, Mays does hold the Chargers' offense as the strength of the team, barring injuries. However, his analysis of the defense was not as positive and in my opinion for good reason. Here is what Mays said about the defense:
Still, San Diego’s problems on defense go way beyond injuries. It allowed 4.8 yards per carry last season; only Washington and a historically awful New Orleans group were worse. Essentially, running backs playing against the Chargers last fall turned into the equivalent of Todd Gurley, and fixing that problem in 2016 won’t come easy.
The confusing part of Mays' article is his recognition of the addition of Brandon Mebane and the excellent play by Denzel Perryman, but later goes on to call the middle of our defense the weakest part of the Chargers, almost making it feel like Usain Bolt could set a world record running through the gaps in the Chargers' defensive line. Mebane will be a reliable addition, but in my opinion will need to be spelled by a skilled, young interior linemen. The addition of Joey Bosa should help anchor that line. I do agree somewhat with Mays' analysis, but I do not agree with how weak the front will be. Yes it is the soft spot of the defense, it will be exposed, but not to the point where Mebane and the interior force are considered ghosts.

The defensive backs were lightly touched upon, "[T}he Chargers’ combination of Verrett, Casey Hayward, and Brandon Flowers could rank among the better corner trios in the AFC." He does not go on to mention the play of our safeties. However, he does mention the lack of the outside rush and that there does need to be improvement of the outside rush.
San Diego will need more from both him and former first-round pick Melvin Ingram if its pass defense has a chance to make up for the unit’s inability to stop the run.
For the most part I agree with Mays' objective analysis, and somewhat optimistic and favorable analysis of the offense, but do not completely agree with the defensive analysis. Either way, the article is an interesting read and you can read where the Chargers stand amongst The Ringer's "worst". Read the article and let us know if you agree.