There are a number of teams such as the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots who are being heavily favored to win the 2013 Super Bowl. However, the San Diego Chargers should not be left out of the conversation. Not by a long shot.
Coming off of a very disappointing 2011 campaign which marked their second straight year without a postseason birth, San Diego has a new look and revamped energy headed into the 2012 season.
That 2011 collapse saw the Chargers take a six-game winning streak right to the chin, proverbially knocking them out cold before they had a chance to regroup.
This sort of output will not be acceptable for Phillip Rivers and company, something every player knows by now. During that streak, San Diego lost to Kansas City, Oakland, Chicago, Green Bay and Denver. A silver lining to this is the fact that the most they lost by was 11 (at Chicago).
It’s hard to pinpoint where it all went wrong for the Chargers, but Rivers and his confidence will not let them falter again like they did last season.
Rivers threw for over 4,600 yards and 27 touchdowns. Unfortunately, he made a plenty of poor decisions throwing the ball and ended up with 20 interceptions as well. After that sort of production, Rivers has learned and will move on. In the process of doing so, he will re-establish himself amongst the elite quarterbacks in the NFL.
Vincent Jackson may have departed for Tampa Bay, but the top tight end in the NFL, Antonio Gates, isn’t going anywhere. He, along with Vincent Jackson and Robert Meachem, make up a rather lethal aerial attack that will send chills down the backs of the opposing secondary. Combine that great air attack, add in the ever emerging Ryan Matthews and versatile Ronnie Brown in the backfield, the offense is as lethal as any in the league.
On defense, the Chargers retain All-Pro safety Eric Weddle, the ball-hawking, harding defensive back who can turn any big play by the offense into a turnover. Shaun Phillips, Takeo Spike and Larry English run the linebacking unit. The trio has the uncanny ability to disrupt any offense as well as cover receivers when needed to. Luckily, with stud corners such as Antoine Cason, Quentin Jammer and Marcus Gilchrist patrolling the passing lanes, it isn’t very often the linebackers need to pick up slack on the passing defense.
Together, the offense and defense of the Chargers compares to the best in the league. In 2011, both sides failed to live up to their full potential. Don’t expect the same misfortunes to occur in 2012.
San Diego is a formidable team with great talent. They have all the tools to make a deep playoff run, and are looking to state their claim as the best in the AFC West. Not only can they do that, they can also make it to the Super Bowl.
Now, it’s just a matter of putting all of the pieces to the puzzle together. The end result they are looking for: a masterpiece.