All right, what is everybody’s prediction for the 2019-20 season?
Jamie Sewell: 8-8. You can’t win in the NFL if you can’t win upfront, and the Chargers have a real case for having the worst OL in the league. Great receiving weapons do nothing if your quarterback doesn’t have time to get a pass away. Trent Scott would be a practice squad candidate at best for most other teams, and yet he’s tasked with protecting Rivers’ blindside with Okung’s status up in the air. Sam Tevi isn’t much better in pass protection, and the only other tackle on the roster was getting beat repeatedly in the 4th quarter of preseason games. The Chargers are mighty talented, but this Achilles heel is going to be too big to overcome.
Lou Gorini: Oh, what could have been. If the Chargers entered the season healthy and drama free I would have thought they could easily have won 11-12 games this year. However, the absence of Okung and James, coupled with the Melvin Gordon holdout, I feel L.A. goes 9-7 in 2019. I believe they won’t be as successful on the ground and as a result, Rivers will be forced to play too much hero ball. The problem with that is the Chargers have a bunch of JV players playing offensive tackle this year. L.A. goes 9-7 for another Wild Card berth.
Matthew Stanley: I think the Chargers manage 10-6 this year. If a few things bounce their way they could hit 11-5 or 12-4, but the offensive line will hold them back from being truly dominant. I think this will include them losing a game everyone expects them to win, and winning a game nobody expects them, too.
Michael Peterson: The Chargers were set to repeat the success they enjoyed in 2018 until fate had another plan. With prominent starters missing extended time in LT Russell Okung and S Derwin James, on top of Melvin Gordon’s holdout, it’s tough to see another 12-win season. I expect the team to still compete, but a 10-6 season is more realistic. They’ll likely lose a game or two that they shoudn’t have, which means a double-digit win season is likely the best-case scenario.
Nate Lewkowitz: I predict an 11-5 record, a game short of last year. Gordon and James expected to miss most of the season is tough, but not exactly a bigger loss than being without Bosa and Henry most of last year. Two of our tougher opponents in the Colts and Texans just lost franchise cornerstones prior to the season and make this schedule much easier. If Okung can return to save this OL for half the year I expect 13 wins and a bye week in the playoffs.
Jamie Hoyle: I have the Chargers going 11-5 this season. Most of this schedule sets up quite well for them, with the Texans, Steelers, Chiefs and Bears posing the biggest threats for various reasons. I’d expect a lot of shuffling along the OL, particularly inside, and at linebacker and safety through the first quarter of the season before things settle down. But overall, I think the healthy returns of Bosa and Henry, as well as what the development of Forrest Lamp, Jerry Tiller, Kyzir White and Nasir Adderley will offset some of the injuries over the course of 16 games. So, 11-5 and a Wild Card seem like a safe bet to me.
Jason Michaels: The Chargers are equally or more so talented than their 2018 iteration, and I think that has them primed for the post season again. As Philip Rivers said, they were a few lucky breaks from being a 9-7 team. I think they lose some of those breaks this year, but so do their main competition in the Chiefs. Identical records of 11-5, but with Chiefs winning both Chargers games, the Bolts return to the playoff dance in the same spot as last year. However, I think they are road warriors this time... all the way to the end.
Ruben J. Gonzalez: I usually go into the season with high hopes and a stoybook ending. While the latter is still on my peripheral, as the season nears my confidence is zapped a little more. Take for instance the news of Russell Okung: out for a minimum 6 weeks, with no real gurantee of a return. Then it was the Derwin stab in the heart and it just began to get worse. Theres still no Trevor Williams clarification and now the Money Badger is hobbling and gonna miss Sundays game. And if that wasn’t enough to dismay my faith in this team, the Patriots just added Antonio Brown. With that said, I have the Chargers finishing 12-4 and at least an AFC Championship appearance. You’re welcome.
Richard Wade: I think the Chargers’ schedule really sets up well for them with some of their toughest opponents having to come to Carson. The schedule coupled with the Chargers being one of the NFL’s best teams has them matching last year’s record. I think Anthony Lynn & co. put up another 12-4 season.