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Chargers backfield ranked 9th-best in NFL by Sports Illustrated

Wild Card Round - San Diego Chargers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Connor Orr over at Sports Illustrated released a list on Friday ranking the ‘backfield situation”for every team in the NFL heading into the 2019 season.

On top of the list sits the New York Giants with a backfield consisting of reigning offensive rookie of the year, Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, Elijhaa Penny, Paul Perkins, and Robert Martin.

The Giants just barely inched past the New Orleans Saint’s due to how much money they have locked into the position with contracts next to how much production they are getting out of the position. Obviously, with Barkley leading the league in yards from scrimmage last year in his very first season, that does wonders for their case.

The Chargers make their appearance a short way down the list at number 9. Their current backfield includes Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Detrez Newsome, Troymaine Pope, and fullback Derek Watt.

At the moment, all of the running back contracts add up to just 8.8 million of the 178.5 million the team has locked-in across all contracts. This will likely change once/if Gordon gets his expected extension sometime in the next year.

Last year, the Chargers running backs depth was definitely worth its’ weight in gold as the top four backs on the roster saw significant playing time, at least in one game or another. In all honesty, 9th out of 32 teams seems quite low for what this position showed it could do last season. The tricky part about this list is that it doesn’t just take in performance, but how much the team is paying for that performance.

When bodies started falling towards the end of the regular season, third and fourth-string backs Jackson and Newsome helped carry the load against Pittsburgh and Kansas City.

Going forward, it’ll be extremely interesting to see how Coach Lynn and OC Ken Whisenhunt plan to utilize all the talent they have behind Gordon.