When you think Chargers, Philip Rivers immediately comes to mind. Rivers still has plenty of playmaking left in his tank at 36 years old. He’s currently 5th in passing yards, 7th in completions, and 7th in touchdowns, ranking 4th in DVOA. He did dip to 18th in DVOA in 2016, throwing 21 interceptions, but placed no lower than 11th in each of the three seasons prior. Rivers is consistently very solid, but erratic and getting up there in age. You also have to consider that he only has one playoff win since the conclusion of the 2008-09 playoffs.
There are plenty more intriguing pieces on the San Di- *ahem* Los Angeles offense. Melvin Gordon, just 24, has 11 touchdowns this year after racking up 12 in his sophomore season a year ago. It should be noted his career YPC average is a measly 3.7, as he hasn’t hit the 4.0 mark in any of his three seasons. DVOA is not fond of his efficiency, placing him 29th of 39 among qualified running backs. There’s also Keenan Allen, who has hit the 1000 yard mark for the first time since his rookie year in 2013. When healthy, Allen is as good a receiver as there is in the NFL. He can make all the acrobatic catches and has the ability to get himself open anywhere on the field. Injuries have simply held back the now 25-year old receiver.
Defensively, the Chargers have a very solid unit. They’re 3rd in fewest points allowed and 14th yardage-wise. The rocks are edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Bosa, 22, has 4 forced fumbles and 11.5 sacks, bringing his career total to 22 in just 26 games. That’s a per-game average on par with and even better than most of the players at the top of the all-time sacks list. Ingram, 28, has validated a big contract with 10 sacks of his own.
LA also possesses some great talent in its back end. Casey Hayward (28) is Pro Football Focus’ top-ranked corner. He has 4 picks and a ridiculous 20 passes defended this year. Rookie Desmond King (23) is their 11th ranked corner.
The Chargers are puzzling. Though their O-Line is suspect, a team this stacked at important positions like QB, edge rusher, and CB should not be 7-7. They are, in fact, 10th in point differential, better than seven teams with a winning record and the only team among the top twelve that is currently outside of playoff position.
Now, for my selection. Philip Rivers is still a top ten quarterback, but the Chargers have so many other young players that could be cornerstones further down the line, and potentially more elite at their respective positions. With that in mind, I take Bosa. He’s as pure of a “quarterback’s nightmare” as there is, right up there with the Von Millers and Justin Houstons of the world - just over a half decade younger.
Which Charger would you take on the Jets?
Which Charger would you want on the Jets?
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