After predicting the Chargers to go 8-8 following the 2020 NFL Draft, Bleacher Report has changed their tune on the Bolts in their latest installment of win-loss predictions following the release of regular season schedule on Thursday.
This time around, author Gary Davenport has the Bolts stumbling to another 5-11 record after posting the same mark in 2019.
“Two years ago, the Los Angeles Chargers won 12 games and a playoff contest,” says Davenport. “After a wildly disappointing 2019 campaign, the Bolts are now starting over.”
“With Philip Rivers set to throw passes in Indianapolis, the Chargers have turned over the reins at quarterback to a combination of veteran Tyrod Taylor and rookie Justin Herbert. The Melvin Gordon era is over as well; the ground game now belongs to Austin Ekeler.”
Yes, the Chargers are starting over, but the team is still flush with talent. It’s just unfortunate that none of that talent plays the quarterback position.
The Chargers will look to take advantage of the weakest strength of schedule among AFC West teams as their opponents’ records from 2019 combine for a .492 win percentage. Only four of their opponents made the playoffs in ‘19, as well.
Davenport simply believes the success of this team will lie in the hands of whomever is throwing the passes. He goes on to say, “...unless Herbert proves to be an exceedingly quick study, the Chargers have the look of a last-place team.”
Well, dang. That’s a bit harsh.
But is that more truth or fiction? Whether it’s Justin Herbert or Tyrod Taylor under center, they’re sure to benefit from some positive regression in the turnover department on the defensive side of the ball. Also, aside from some rookie growing pains, there may be some positive regression for the offense as well. The team turned the ball over at least twice in nine games in 2019. Unless Herbert turns into rookie Peyton Manning or last year’s version of Jameis Winston, then maybe the sting of turning the ball over will be felt less frequently in 2020.