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Preseason Power Rankings No. 16: San Diego Chargers

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by CoronaDoug, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. CoronaDoug

    CoronaDoug Well-Known Member

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    Preseason Power Rankings No. 16: San Diego Chargers


    Posted by Evan Silva on July 17, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

    Folks covering the team were convinced late last season that coach Norv Turner and G.M. A.J. Smith were on the outs in San Diego. After a 4-1 start, the Chargers dropped six straight games in October and November. While they closed strong with victories in four of their final five, owner Dean Spanos’ January 3 announcement that Turner and Smith would be retained was something of a stunner.

    The Chargers missed the playoffs for a second straight season.

    San Diego has a fresh outlook on 2012 after a fairly aggressive spring. And there’s little doubt that this year will be Turner’s last if the Bolts miss a third consecutive NFL postseason.

    Strengths.

    Quarterback Philip Rivers was uncharacteristically turnover prone in 2011, but the Chargers still think of his presence as an organizational strength. Rivers, historically, is an efficient and accurate thrower who excels in Turner’s vertical-based offense. San Diego has big outside receivers who can run in Malcom Floydand offseason addition Robert Meachem, and 32-year-old tight end Antonio Gates looked as fresh as ever late last season.

    The Chargers are counting on a big step forward from third-year tailback Ryan Mathews, who possesses elite running talent and steadily improving versatility, but has yet to put it all together for a 16-game stretch.

    San Diego’s front seven projects as its defensive strength. Defensive end Corey Liuget, and linebackers Donald Butler and Melvin Ingram were all recent high draft picks to whom the Bolts will look for growth and playmaking ability. Takeo Spikes, Shaun Phillips, and newly acquired Jarret Johnson are the veteran mainstays at linebacker. Situational pass rusher Antwan Barnes quietly racked up 11 sacks a year ago.

    Free safety Eric Weddle is the Chargers’ top defensive back, and he responded to a 2011 contract extension by setting a career high with seven interceptions.

    Weaknesses.

    Rivers must cut down on turnovers, and Mathews must show better durability for San Diego to realize its offensive potential. The receiver corps looks explosive on paper, but heavy offseason transition is a bit of a concern. Gone is longtime No. 1 receiver Vincent Jackson, and in are slot man Eddie Royal and vertical threat Meachem.

    Right tackle Jeromey Clary has been San Diego’s weak link on the offensive line for sometime. But he returns as a virtual lock for a Week One starting job.

    Cornerback play is the biggest question mark in San Diego’s secondary. 33-year-oldQuentin Jammer can no longer run with the league’s top young deep threats, while Antoine Cason’s consistency leaves much to be desired. Strong safety has been a revolving door in San Diego since Rodney Harrison departed.

    Changes.

    Smith couldn’t bring himself to match Jackson’s $55 million-plus price tag, so the seven-year Charger departed for greener pastures in Tampa Bay. On the same day Jackson signed with the Bucs, Meachem received a four-year, $25.9 million commitment from the Chargers. Royal finalized his three-year, $13.5 million pact two days later.

    More offseason turnover took place on the offensive line. Stalwart left guard Kris Dielman retired at age 31 due to concussions, and the Chargers hope largely untested 2009 fourth-round pick Tyronne Green will fill the void. Left tackleMarcus McNeill was released in mid-March. San Diego will replace him with talented but enigmatic 26-year-old Jared Gaither, who finished last season successfully protecting Rivers’ blind side.

    Ingram was San Diego’s first-round pick, and his versatility should lock him in as an every-snap player as a rookie. Ingram can play outside linebacker, defensive end, and defensive tackle in sub-packages. The Chargers tied for 24th in the league in sacks last season, so the Ingram pick satisfied their need for a pass rusher.

    Camp Battles.

    On offense, the Chargers will hold training camp competitions at backup tailback and left guard. Veteran free-agent pickup Ronnie Brown knows Turner’s offense and looks like the favorite to hold down primary backup duties behind Mathews. Green will have to hold off Brandyn Dombrowski and Steve Schilling at guard.

    More competition will take place on defense. Cam Thomas could push agingAntonio Garay for the starting nose tackle job. The defensive end positions will be hotly contested from a group that includes Luiget, Vaughn Martin, Luis Castillo, Jacques Cesaire, and rookie Kendall Reyes.

    In the back four, Atari Bigby and third-round pick Brandon Taylor are the leading contenders at strong safety. Cason will get another run for his money at cornerback from 2011 second-rounder Marcus Gilchrist.

    Prospects.

    Although Oakland seems a small step behind the pace entering training camp, the AFC West could end up going to any of the four division members. The Raiders have an established Pro Bowl quarterback and potentially game-breaking rushing attack. The Chiefs boast a bright young defense and dangerous offensive backfield/line combination. The Broncos won a playoff game in 2011, and now havePeyton Manning.

    We ranked the Chargers as a middle-of-the-pack team for 2012 because Turner has been on the job for five seasons, and San Diego’s final-year positioning has essentially gotten worse on an annual basis. Some of it has to do with bad luck. Most of it has to do with underachieving, and we’re not sold that the ’12 Chargers are good enough to push the envelope they’ve established in the AFC.
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/17/preseason-power-rankings-no-16-san-diego-chargers/
     
  2. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    About where I thought we would. Just average based off of last season.
     
  3. ThunderHorse17

    ThunderHorse17 Lone Wolf

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    16 is still pretty UTR if you ask me.
     
  4. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    16 is off the radar, which is where we should be. If we pull solid, non-sucked-out wins through the first half of the season, we'll deserve better than 16. If we're 4-4 going into week 8, then the power ranking will obviously have had it right.
     
  5. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Whatever.
     
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  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    What my Cobolt Compadre said...
     
  7. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    I don't give a **** where we're ranked pre-season - I just care how we finish.

    That said, some good points made in this breakdown, both positive and negative. Season needs to hurry up and get here ><
     
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  8. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I don't think there's really much to take from it. They're saying that we will be this year what we were last year.

    For perspective, here's the "win-differential" breakdown from 2010 to 2011:
    +7 wins
    1 team
    +5 wins
    2 teams
    +4 wins
    4 teams
    +3 wins
    2 teams
    +2 wins
    3 teams
    +0 wins
    4 teams
    -1 win
    6 teams
    -2 wins
    1 team
    -3 wins
    6 teams
    -5 wins
    1 team
    -6 wins
    1 team
    -8 wins
    1 team

    Over half the league experienced an absolute change in the number of wins greater than 3, with only 4 teams experiencing no change. The most likely outcome is that the Chargers won't be 8-8 again next season, even if the last 2 seasons make it feel as though that would be a reasonable expectation.
     
  9. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    It's comments like "Rivers needs to cut down his turnovers" that puts this ranking in perspective. ;)

    Rather than see that last year was an anomaly as far as turnovers are concerned in Rivers career, they are treating it as something he needs to overcome. There's no evidence of that.

    In fact, during the last part of the season, Rivers was back to his normal self. He only had 3 INTs in his last 6 games, and 2 of those were in the loss to the Lions.

    Oh, they also put the Bengals at #15....... ahead of the Chargers. :rolleyes:
     
  10. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    This really means what in July????
     
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  11. boltfanatik

    boltfanatik Toxic Minority Member

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    Good point I usually wait till the 53 man roster is set before I start to evaluate. Up to that point it's all sheets & giggles picking apart stuff and making snide remarks
     
  12. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

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    Yes, calling Rivers "efficient and accurate" is a bit of an understatement. With the exception of last season, Rivers has shown himself to be one of the most efficient passers in history, despite playing in a big play system, rather than a dink and dunk system.
     
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  13. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

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    this
     
  14. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    The Bengals were a playoff team, with a rookie QB and #1 WR, that had by all accounts a great draft, with minimal turnover from FA. Why shouldn't they be ranked ahead of the Chargers?
     
  15. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Dallas at 14 is proof positive that these rankings are BS.
     
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  16. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    If I believed at all in Norv Turner I'd at least make an effort to be annoyed by this ranking. :sleep:

    That said I'm getting tired of the page 1 analysis this offseason, It's no wonder talking heads and journalists end up missing the boat on more than half the playoff teams every year. "Peyton Manning is good, the Chargers lost Vincent Jackson"...the research stops there, now everyone jump on the Broncos winning the west bandwagon.
     
  17. boltfanatik

    boltfanatik Toxic Minority Member

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    Chargers or Chiefs this season for the west title Denver won't be in the hunt
     
  18. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    Well what do you expect? The Chargers have a bad reputation. A.J. has the nerve to slag all three Mannings. Rivers is a punk for sniping at Jay Cutler. And Chargers fans in all their wisdom have nothing better to do than endlessly moan about Norv. With the culture of losing comes the image as losers.
     
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  19. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Absolutely.

    Just look at who you quoted.
     
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  20. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Ah yes, shame on we foolish who have the nerve to demand/expect change in a such a culture.:rolleyes:

    If you're tired of the Norv talk the answer is simple, piss off, this is a Charger fan forum and the head coach is a big topic.
     
  21. rickochey

    rickochey BoltTalker

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    I get to watch my beloved Chargers play 4 preseason games plus 16 regular season games. Any more after that is "How the F*** that happen with Norv?"
     
  22. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    Wouldn't you like that! You'd be free to spew negativity amongst your equals. How nice would that be? :D
     
  23. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    I have no problem with people who want to defend Norv being here.

    But complaining about the topic is just plain pointless and stupid.
     
  24. _Oz

    _Oz Banned Banned

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    As the new Sheriff around here, I decide who needs to go! You are worthless and weak and will do what you are told....now drop and give me twenty and repeat with every rep, "Norv is my Daddy"
     
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  25. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    Uh....
     
  26. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

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    Percisely... :coffee:
     
  27. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    When piss and moan are the two flavors of your posts, you get to reap the first.
     
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  28. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    12 teams were better than 8-8 last season, 8 were 8-8, and 12 were worse than 8-8. If Dallas was an 8-8 team, shouldn't they be somewhere between 10-22?
     
  29. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I don't see where they should rank 2 spots higher than the Chargers.
     
  30. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    Are the Chargers only 3 spots worse than the Lions, even though they completely destroyed us and were a playoff team? What about 5 spots better than the Chiefs, a 7-9 team which opened the season with season-ending injuries to their 2 most important/best offensive players and most important/best defensive player?

    The individual numbers don't matter, because you're just splitting hairs about which team makes you warm and fuzzy inside the most. It's about 1-12, 12-22, and 22-32, or, playoffs, no-playoffs and a top pick outside of the top 10, and top 10 picking teams. Basically they're saying that we're on the outside looking in, but not bad enough to merit a top ten pick next April.
     

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