The Chargers came thundering back into the playoff race after a horrible start. Tabbed as a dark horse contender this year, Los Angeles will need to get off to a better start.
AFC WEST DIVISION WINNERS: +155 (Bovada)
AFC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS: +1000 (Bovada)
SUPER BOWL 53 CHAMPIONS: +2000 (Bovada)
Team Win Total: O/U 9 (Westgate)
Week 1 vs. Kansas City (-3) Week 9 @ Seattle (PK)
Week 2 @ Buffalo (-1) Week 10 @ Oakland (PK)
Week 3 @ Los Angeles (Rams) (+3.5) Week 11 vs. Denver (-4.5)
Week 4 vs. San Francisco (-3.5) Week 12 vs Arizona (-9)
Week 5 vs. Oakland (-5) Week 13 @ Pittsburgh (+4.5)
Week 6 @ Cleveland (-4) Week 14 vs. Cincinnati (+7.5)
Week 7 vs. Tennessee (-3) Week 15 @ Kansas City (+2.5)
Week 8 BYE WEEK Week 16 vs. Baltimore (-3.5)
Week 17 @ Denver
An early test in Buffalo is never an easy trip for a West coast team and then returning to play the Rams will be a rough back-to-back. Traveling to Seattle and Pittsburgh after their bye week should also be tough games.
Key Team Additions and Subtractions
Additions – QB Geno Smith, C Mike Pouncey, TE Vigil Green, and Caleb Sturgis
Subtractions – C Matt Slauson, T Kenny Wiggins, LB Chris McCain, LB Jerry Attaochu, LB Korey Toomer, and S Tre Boston
Draft – S Derwin James, LB Uchenna Nwosu, DT Justin Jones, LB Kyzir White, C Scott Quessenberry, WR Dylan Cantrell, and RB Justin Jackson
Phillip Rivers spoke out about not playing as long as some of his counter parts. So Rivers needs to make these next few years great. He ended top five in yards and touchdowns last season. Phillip is a talented player and will keep them in every game.
Melvin Gordon took another step forward in his development and should continue to improve each season. Justin Jackson should be the back up and was one of the most productive backs in college football for four years straight.
Losing Hunter Henry will hurt but the receivers are solid for Rivers. Keenan Allen finished third in yards and fourth for wide outs in yards after catch. Travis Benjamin will stretch the field while the Chargers hope the Mike Williams breaks out this season.
The line was pretty rough last year, plagued with injuries. With the addition of Pouncey, he will improve the center position. Okung and Forrest Lamp will be a strong blindside. Joe Barksdale and Dan Freeney are still younger and will likely be studs. This line is set to protect Gordon and Rivers this season in a pass rush heavy division.
Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa are two of the best at getting in the backfield. Between them Brandon Mebane and Darius Philon need to stop the run. This was one of the worst run defenses in the league because the gut was carved up.
The linebacking core consists of Jatavis Brown, Denzel Perryman and Kyle Emanuel. This is an average group all with different strengths. They will need to hope the line gets pressure to give the backers time to make a play.
Losing Jason Verrett for the season will hurt but second year pro Desmond King looks like he will be ready to jump into his role. Casey Hayward is one of the best corners in the game. The safties will be rookie Derwin James who looks like he will be a beast at the NFL level and tackling machine Jahleel Addae.
Nick Novak has been around for a long time and there is a reason for that. He is consistent as any kicker. Desmond King and Travis Benjamin will be the primary kick returners.
The Chargers look like a really solid team on paper and came on strong after stumbling out of the game last year. Phillip Rivers has enough to go one or two more solid years. This team will miss Jason Verrett but it should be able to move on with out them.
AFC WEST TITLE/OVER 9/Lean AFC CHAMPIONS
The Chargers have great value as a AFC WEST TITLE CHAMP, Over 9 wins and AFC Champions. Of the teams that could win the AFC, the Los Angeles have the best value. This seams like a no-brianer, this team is too talented not to run away with the division.
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