After winning 12 games just two seasons ago, the Chargers fell vastly short of the team’s expectations in 2019 which led to Tom Telesco and Anthony Lynn blowing up the offense to a degree this offseason. Gone are Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, and Russell Okung.
In their place, the team just drafted Justin Herbert with their first pick and signed numerous instant-impact free agents such as Bryan Bulaga, Linval Joseph, and Chris Harris. Even with a new quarterback under center, this team certainly has the potential to surprise and make some waves in 2020.
But some disagree.
The NFL staff at Bleacher Report got together after the draft to readjust their team power rankings. To some surprise, the Chargers were slotted at #28, or the fifth-worst team in the league. The final ranking is simply the average of all ranks given individually by the staff but per the article, no one gave the Chargers anything higher than a 27 or lower than a 28.
Here’s what analyst Gary Davenport had to say about the ranking:
“Had the Chargers signed Cam Newton or even Jameis Winston in free agency, this roster has enough talent to at least challenge for a wild-card spot. After all, the Chargers were a 12-win team as recently as 2018. But Taylor’s last stint as a starter in Cleveland was a mess, and a lack of OTAs and practice time are going to put Herbert that much further behind the curve.”
In the end, Davenport doesn’t believe the talent that runs abundant on the roster will be able to make up for the team’s situation at quarterback.
“The Chargers have talent on both sides of the ball, whether it’s Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry on offense or Joey Bosa, Derwin James and rookie Kenneth Murray on defense. But Davenport thinks Los Angeles’ issues at quarterback will pave the way for at least one more down year.”
I know no one wants to imagine another down year after what transpired in 2019, but what is everyone’s true expectations in 2020? Is the expectation going to be a playoff spot or will a final record near .500 do the trick? Did Bleacher Report get this ranking correct? If not, how would you rank the Bolts amongst the rest of the NFL? Feel free to use the link above and check out how the rest of the rankings went.