Los Angeles Chargers NFL offseason preview – Los Angeles Chargers Blog

LOS ANGELES – It’s been almost a year for the Los Angeles Chargers. As in, they won nearly enough matches to make the playoffs. It came to the last game of the season – the one they almost won in overtime. But they didn’t. The Las Vegas Raiders beat the Chargers 35-32 with a field goal with the time out in Week 18, and grabbed the playoff spot the Chargers wanted.

Quarterback Justin Herbert cemented his role as a star attacker with a 383-yard throw and three touchdown passes in that game, bringing the Charger (9-8) back from 15 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime. He finished the season with a throw of 5,014 yards (second in the NFL to Tom Brady) and 38 touchdown passes (third behind Brady and Matthew Stafford). The future looks bright.

The Charger had a full season away from safety, Derwin James Jr., who missed most of the previous two seasons before giving a Pro Bowl performance in 2021. (free agent) both have over 1,100 yards.

This is the good news. bad? The Chargers were put in do-or-die mode against the Conquerors thanks to an inexplicable loss from the Texans (who finished 4-13) in Week 16. Almost everyone (on the shipping side anyway) thought they were going to win that game and the team was mentally defeated by the score Which was costly as they missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

They need to reset their ranks and regroup, plan well and use the big hat space (the second largest in the league) to find a defensive line and a linebacker to help bolster their struggling defence. Then they will be a team that no one wants to face.

They are almost there.

Expected maximum salary area: $54.61 million

The most important free agents: WR Mike Williams, LB Uchenna Nwosu, D.E. Justin Jones, DT Linval Joseph, CB Chris Harris Jr., T.E. Jared Cook, OG Oday Aboushi, LB Kyzir White

Possible candidates for cutting: Correct intervention Brian Bolaga only played one game, injuring his back in the first week against Washington. He has played 11 games for the Chargers since signing as a free agent in 2020 and will turn 33 next season. He has another year left on his contract. Chargers need an upgrade, as Storm Norton failed to rise up, struggling in several big moments, including in Week 18 against the Raiders Pro Bowl defensive end Maxx Crosby.

The big question: What will Year 2 coach Brandon Staley and General Manager Tom Telesco do to bolster the team’s quick defense? In the middle of the 2021 season, the Chargers were at the bottom of the NFL in the defending race, allowing opposing offenses to rush for more than 140 yards per game. They’ve improved quite a bit along the stretch, but must craft wisely and count on Jones to stay healthy up front (provided the Charger can re-sign), as the running defense has struggled in the six games he’s missed. Defense last finished in third place conversion percentage (49.5%), tied for 29th in points allowed (27.0) and 26th in expected points added (minus 80.49). Be a contender for the West Asian title and stand a chance of reaching the Super Bowl.

Best scenario: Staley is big on health and revitalization training and they work to keep his players healthy. The defense is getting better thanks to improved talent brought in through recruitment, free agency and players like linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr., who was picked up in another first round for the Chargers in 2020, taking a step forward. Also, it will help convince Williams to stay and build on his career year in 2021.

Worst case scenario: The Chargers’ bad luck with injury is happening again and it’s bringing out a great player like Herbert. The Chargers are unable to use their cover space to persuade Williams to return and cannot find an upgrade for Cook in a tight spot, leaving Herbert with fewer weapons. The defense is unable to find the right pieces in the corner or along the front, which puts it in another struggle in 2022.

An early look at the NFL Draft, from ESPN analyst Jordan Reed: Dealing with attacking and defensive lines and cornering appearances are three essentials for General Manager Tom Telesco this season. Finding protection for one of the best youth signal communicators in the league is extremely important. The Charger achieved gold with a left tackle Rashawn Slater last year, and they can look to cement the ends of their offensive streak by crafting another tackle. Attacking a strong corner class is also another way they can go. Individuals in the middle of the D line should also improve; They had the worst defense in the league in 2021.

Most important needs: IDL, CB, OT

Best choice for: No. 17