Friday, August 23, 2013

An early look at the Chargers' 2013 season

After a 7-9 season in 2012, the San Diego Chargers decided to finally go in a different direction. New head coach Mike McCoy takes over for Norv Turner, and he will be asked to make things work with a team currently struggling with some injury woes. Fortunately for them, other than Denver, the rest of AFC West is in rebuilding mode. Here’s a look at what to expect in 2013 for the Bolts.

The biggest issue heading into the season will be the injury bug that seems to be crushing the receiving corps for the Chargers. Quarterback Philip Rivers has seen one target after another get injured, as Danario Alexander tore his ACL, Malcolm Floyd sprained his knee and Eddie Royal bruised his lung and suffered a concussion. For Rivers, this will make his job even tougher as he already has to deal with a pretty mediocre offensive line.

Ryan Mathews is returning as the main ball carrier, and the Chargers top fantasy football 2013 pick, one year after breaking his collarbone and missing a significant amount of time. By bringing in Danny Woodhead from New England, the hope is that the running game can be better and take some pressure off of Rivers.

Defensively, rookie Manti Te'o is getting most of the attention due to his outstanding college career. He has been solid so far in the preseason, and all signs point to him being an anchor in the future for the club. There are some intriguing pieces on defense for San Diego, but they still have some holes that probably can’t be addressed until next offseason.

Any time you go through a coaching change, there are going to be some growing pains. Couple that with quite a few injuries, and you have the makings of a non-playoff team. The Chargers are likely to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season, but they do have some young pieces that give this team promise going forward. It might not be the best year in Southern California, but this team is improving.

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