Regardless of what happens Sunday afternoon, I consider this first season under Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy a success. Yeah, I’ve been very critical at times, but I didn’t expect to find our boys in a position to contend for a playoff spot at this point in the season. Truth be told, I had them at 7-9 on the year.
I’m not going to rehash the mistakes. What’s done is done and not the point of this piece. Here’s why I consider this season to be a success, playoffs or not:
Philip Rivers has put together a Pro Bowl year. His 4249 passing yards ranks fourth in the NFL, his 69.7 completion percentage leads the league and he’s cut down on his mistakes with only ten interceptions.
Ryan Mathews has quieted his doubters this year. He’s been durable, he’s held on to the football, he’s turned the corner to become the back everyone hoped he would. Mathews has achieved career highs in games played, rushing yards and rushing attempts. Add to that he’s only fumbled twice, and only lost one of those.
The offensive line was supposed to be the Achilles’s heel going into the beginning of the season. Just about everyone on the line missed time due to injury. Chargers played with three LTs, two RTs, 75,000 guards. Even Nick Hardwick missed time to injury, yet surrendered only 27 sacks, third best in the NFL They’ve afforded Rivers time to find an open receiver and have opened up running lanes for Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead.
Keenan was an absolute STEAL in the third round. He came off the bench with the loss of Danario Alexander and Malcolm Floyd to put together a compelling argument for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He needs 43 yards to hit the 1,000 yard plateau. He’s already beaten John Jefferson’s rookie record for receiving yards.
Eric Weddell also earned Pro Bowl honors this year. He’s been rock steady on the defense as a player, leader and teacher of the younger players. He continues to be considered one of the top safeties in the game today and his leadership has helped gel the Bolt’s defensive unit.
All in all, though a playoff berth is what all Charger fans want to see, even if they fall short, the season should still be considered a success. We all should be excited about the upcoming offseason and see what talent Telesco brings in with cap room to work with.