San Diego Chargers

Division: AFC WestGM: Tom TelescoHead Coach: Mike McCoy
2012: 7-9 (2nd AFC West)vs. division 4-2
Points21.9 (20th)
Yards297.2 (31st)
Pass Yards205.9 (24th)
Rush Yards91.3 (27th)

McCoy aiming to help the Chargers power up

Key Additions

OLB D.Freeney, HC M.McCoy,
RB D.Woodhead, CB D.Cox,
LT M.Starks, OT K.Dunlap

Key Subtractions

RG L.Vasquez, CB Q.Jammer,
DT A.Garay, CB A.Cason,
LB T.Spikes, SS A.Bigby,
OLB S.Phillips, DE V.Martin

Philip Rivers built his reputation as a very good starting quarterback off a three-year run from 2008-10 when he threw for just under 13,000 combined yards, completed over 65% of his passes, and threw 92 touchdowns to just 33 interceptions.

But come September, that three-year run will be three seasons ago and there are now legitimate concerns whether Rivers will ever perform to that standard again.

In the two years since, the San Diego Chargers QB has shown signs of regression; his stats dropping across the board. Some of that can be blamed on the Chargers’ recent struggles at offensive line and receiver – both positions were addressed through free agency and the draft – but the league’s best QBs manage success with whoever they play with. On the NFL QB scale, Rivers may now be closer to ‘mediocre’ than ‘elite.’

If Rivers is still working off a strong reputation earned several seasons ago, running back Ryan Mathews is working off a reputation he never really earned.

Perhaps because of his draft position (12th overall in 2010) Mathews has always been counted on for big production. But the 25-year-old has yet to live up to expectations through the first three injury-marred years of his career. He’s broken the 1,000-yard rushing mark just once while averaging 4.4 yards per carry and hitting pay dirt 14 times for the Chargers.

Both Rivers and Mathews will benefit from a fresh face at head coach in Mike McCoy. McCoy served as the Denver Broncos offensive coordinator for the past four seasons and while Peyton Manning would surely still be successful regardless his coordinator, McCoy deserves much kudos for helping turn Tim Tebow into something that resembled a starting QB during his time in Denver.

Norv Turner’s track record as an effective offensive mind is as solidified as his track record as a failed head coach. For whatever reason Rivers’ game was regressing under him and McCoy’s biggest task will be getting the former four-time Pro Bowl QB back on track.

To that notion, help could be on the way. Danario Alexander showed promise in his six starts for San Diego last season and could be primed for a breakout year as a full-time starter. Keenan Allen, a projected first-round draft pick who fell to the Chargers in the third round, joins the young receiving corps.

If Antonio Gates, whose regression the past couple years makes Rivers’ problems seem mild, can find any of his old game it will be a bonus for the team’s offence. The 33-year-old was once the most feared receiving tight end in the league. Injuries and age have sapped Gates’ ability to the point where he’s no longer anything special.

On the offensive line, the Chargers brought in veteran Max Starks and drafted DJ Fluker in the first round in an effort to improve the tackle play on the line. (-Ben Fisher,

Analysis: The Chargers offensive line needed help in the worst way possible and after five linemen went in the top 10, they had no choice but to select Fluker. Fluker isn't an ideal tackle, but he has the size and length to pull it off. His biggest impact will come in the running game... Te'o is pencilled in as a starter at one of the two inside linebackers spots. He will have to shown that he can shed blockers in the pros... Allen may be the most pro-ready receiver outside of DeAndre Hopkins, but he enters a crowded receiving corps in San Diego. (

Round 1 11th overall D.J. Fluker OT Alabama
Round 2 38th overall Manti Te'o LB Notre Dame
Round 3 76th overall Keenan Allen WR California
Round 5 145th overall Steve Williams CB California
Round 6 179th overall Tourek Williams DE Florida Int'l
Round 7 221st overall Brad Sorensen QB Southern Utah

Noticable Names

Defensively, the Chargers ran middle of the pack last season and while they brought in a few noticeable names this spring, it’s hard to imagine the unit making any drastic improvements in 2013.

The highest profile addition was inside linebacker Manti Te’o. All jokes aside, the Notre Dame product provides decent value as a second-round draft pick and once the attention and scrutiny of his fake girlfriend scandal dies down, the 22-year-old will have a good shot at growing into a productive starter in the team’s linebacking corps.


Broncos (14-2)

Division Winner, 1st round bye

Chiefs (6-10)

Moving in right direction

Raiders (3-13)

Severe lack of talent

Chargers (2-14)

Arguably worst team in NFL

Dwight Freeney was another noteworthy signing, the result of sophomore pass rusher Melvin Ingram suffering a season-ending knee injury in OTAs, but at this point in his career could be more name than game.

The Indianapolis Colts let Freeney walk after the 33-year-old posted just five sacks in 14 games last season, the second lowest total of his career. The 11-year veteran wasn’t exactly a hot commodity on the open market either, lasting until late May before the Chargers snapped him up.

Two lower profile off-season additions could end up paying bigger dividends for the Bolts. Derek Cox was a sneaky good signing in a loaded cornerback market and while Jarret Johnson won’t help the team with its worrisome pass rushing issues, the outside linebacker does a lot of other things well and brings a winning pedigree from his time with the Baltimore Ravens.

After years of failing to live up to expectations, followed by a period of simple mediocrity, the Chargers finally pulled the plug on Turner and GM AJ Smith. It should do the roster a world of good to have a fresh start with McCoy and new GM Tom Telesco.

Aside from this year’s crop, Telesco didn’t draft any of the current Chargers and should find it easier making the hard evaluations on players that aren’t “his guys.”

San Diego has been in a holding pattern of sorts the last couple of years and it will be interesting to see which direction they go in. In a still fairly weak AFC West, a few tinkers and a little luck could be enough to slip into the playoffs as a wild card, but another so-so season that ends in neither a playoff spot nor a high draft pick could be the catalyst for a much larger rebuild.

With Rivers’ stagnant play the past couple seasons, and the lack of any real significant additions in the off-season, another so-so season appears the most likely scenario for the 2013 San Diego Chargers. The team hired a new coach and GM for this season, but real change could still be a year away. (-Ben Fisher,




K. Dunlap
M. Starks
N. Becton


C. Rinehart
J. Troutman
R. Ohrnberger


N. Hardwick
D. Molk
C. Baxter


J. Clary
S. Schilling
B. Dombrowski


D. Fluker
M. Harris
R. Richards


M. Floyd
R. Meachem
M. Willie
D. Butler


A. Gates
J. Phillips
L. Green
D. Walker


V. Brown
E. Royal
K. Allen
D. DePalma


P. Rivers
C. Whitehurst
B. Sorensen
N. Enderle


L. McClain
C. Gronkowski


R. Matthews
R. Brown
D. Woodhead
E. Baker

Special Teams: K N. Novak, P M. Scifres, KR R. Goodman, PR E. Royal

Fantasy - By The Numbers

With QB Philip Rivers in decline, he's gone from a surefire fantasy starter to a mediocre backup option, but is one season removed from throwing for 4,624 yards, so he can't be ignored altogether.

Get ready for the fantasy season with the latest from
Rankings: QB | RB | WR | TE | DEF
Fantasy Schedules: AFC | NFC
2013 Auction Values: Cheat Sheet
Fantasy Depth Charts: AFC | NFC

WR Danario Alexander didn't have a catch until Week Eight last season, yet finished with a career highs of 658 yards and seven touchdowns. If that production carries on, Alexander could go over 1,000 yards this season. As a No. 2 receiver, Malcom Floyd offers decent fantasy value, posting 2,387 yards and 16 touchdowns in the last three seasons. Once the pre-eminent receiving tight end for fantasy owners, Antonio Gates finished last season with 538 yards, his lowest since his rookie season, but he can still score, putting up at least seven touchdowns in each of the last nine seasons.

RB Ryan Mathews teased with 1,546 yards from scrimmage in 14 games during the 2011 season, but was limited to a dozen games last year and has missed 10 games in three seasons, so he presents too much risk to be a No. 1 fantasy back. He's okay as a No. 2, however.

FS Eric Weddle is the most productive Chargers defender and a legit fantasy starter. Others worth consideration include OLB Donald Butler, rookie ILB Manti Te'o and CB Derek Cox, but they are all conceivably depth players for fantasy purposes. (-Scott Cullen)

1 vs Mon, Sep. 9, 10:15pm et/7:15pm pt 10 vs Sun, Nov. 10, 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt
2 @ Sun, Sep. 15, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 11 @ Sun, Nov. 17, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
3 @ Thu, Sep. 19, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 12 @ Sun, Nov. 24, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt
4 vs Sun, Sep. 29, 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt 13 vs Sun, Dec. 1, 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt
5 @ Sun, Oct. 6, 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt 14 vs Sun, Dec. 8, 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt
6 vs Sun, Oct. 13, 8:30pm et/5:30pm pt 15 @ Thu, Dec. 12, 8:25pm et/5:25pm pt
7 @ Sun, Oct. 20, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt 16 vs Sun, Dec. 22, 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt
8   BYE WEEK 17 vs Sun, Dec. 29, 4:25pm et/1:25pm pt
9 @ Sun, Nov. 3, 1:00pm et/10:00am pt      


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