Injuries ravaged the Los Angeles Chargers a year ago, and while they still made the playoffs, they took a first-round exit courtesy of a 31-30 loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars.
From quarterback Justin Herbert to edge rusher Joey Bosa; from starting tackles Rashawn Slater and Trey Pipkins to receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen; and throw in defensive linemen Otito Ogbonnia to Christian Covington. The club was in desperate need of Flex Seal.
Hebert still managed to throw for 4,739 yards to become the first to pass the 4,000-yard mark in each of his first three seasons. He has amassed 14,089 yards, 94 touchdowns and 35 interceptions in 49 games, shattering Andrew Luck's previous 3-year record 12,957.
He trailed only Patrick Mahomes last season in passing yards, but he was sacked 38 times and had 10 INT's to go with his 25 TD tosses. Imagine the numbers a healthy Herbert could have posted, especially if the O-line and receiving corps also weren't hit by an injury epidemic.
Thus, the clubhouse is rife with optimism for 2023. He may only rank 68th over-all right now, but look for the Fantasy stock to Keenan Allen to rebound in 2023, along with others. Running back Austin Ekeler is the No. 5 running back on FanDuel's fantasy rankings, while receivers Williams (No. 16) and Allen (No. 28) could be considered bargains.
When it comes to Super Bowl-winning odds, the Chargers are tied for the 9th. They have the 2nd-best odds of winning their division, and 6th-best of winning the AFC title.
There are some key changes on the coaching staff with Kellen Moore moving from Dallas to take over the offense from Joe Lombardi. Renaldo Hill is out as Derrick Ansley was elevated from defensive backs to defensive coordinator.
Navigation of the NFL's 6th-toughest schedule, per Sharp Football Analysis, won't be easy. But we're also not sure it's that tough.
Sure, the Chargers are in the AFC West with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and will face them twice, but they also get the Raiders and Broncos twice. When it comes to the over-all best AFC teams, the Chargers do not face the Bengals and get the Bills at home in December. They also get the Dolphins and Ravens at home.
The toughest part of the schedule could be the NFC North slate that brings the Lions and Bears to SoFi, but sends the club packing to Minnesota and Green Bay.
The over/under win total is 9.5 and it's not hard to find 7 victories at home on the schedule below. Basically, beat everyone except Buffalo and KC. Finding 3 wins on the road is a lot more difficult to do.
|1||Sun. 9/10||Miami Dolphins||1:25 pm||CBS|
|2||Sun. 9/17||at Tennessee Titans||10 am||CBS|
|3||Sun. 9/24||at Minnesota Vikings||10 am||Fox|
|4||Sun. 10/1||Las Vegas Raiders||1:05 pm||CBS|
|6||Mon. 10/16||Dallas Cowboys||5:15 pm||ESPN|
|7||Sun. 10/22||at Kansas City Chiefs||1:25 pm||CBS|
|8||Sun. 10/29||Chicago Bears||5:20 pm||NBC*|
|9||Mon. 11/6||at New York Jets||5:15 pm||ESPN|
|10||Sun. 11/12||Detroit Lions||1:05 pm||CBS|
|11||Sun. 11/19||at Green Bay Packers||10 am||Fox|
|12||Sun. 11/26||Baltimore Ravens||5:20 pm||NBC*|
|13||Sun. 12/3||at New England Patriots||10 am||CBS|
|14||Sun. 12/10||Denver Broncos||1:25 pm||CBS|
|15||Thur. 12/14||at Las Vegas Raiders||5:15 pm||Prime Video|
|16||Sat. 12/23||Buffalo Bills||5 pm||Peacock|
|17||Sun. 12/31||at Denver Broncos||1:25 pm||CBS|
|18||TBD||Kansas City Chiefs||TBD||TBD*|
The LA Chargers announced on Thursday (August 24) they they will use the home opener to retire the jerseys of Charlie Joiner (18) and Kellen Winslow (80), both of whom are NFL Hall-of-Famers.
Joiner (1996) followed Winslow (1995) into the Hall by one year.
Joiner spent 11 of his 18 NFL seasons with San Diego after being drafted by Houston in 1969 and spending 5 years in Cincinnati. He retired with the Minnesota Vikings in 1986.
Winslow spent his entire career - cut short by multiple knee injuries - in San Diego from 1979 to 1987.
Their head coach, Don Coryell, was enshrined this year and will also be honored. Their quarterback, Dan Fouts, will lead the festivities. Fouts entered the Hall in 1993.