Los Angeles Chargers…
A name we haven’t seen repped by the Chargers in over 55 years. If you’re looking for an article with stats/numbers or the breaking down of any type of analytics, this isn’t the right one. I wanted to take a different route and share my thoughts on this whole situation.
First, I would love to thank San Diego for being a home and family to the Chargers. I’ve been a fan of the Chargers for 10 years now, and if you’ve followed them or have been a fan, you know it hasn’t been the prettiest ride.
But through it all, I met tons of cool people, went to games, met players and all of that. Truly great and passionate experiences as a fan is how I’ll remember their time in America’s finest and I’m thankful to San Diego for all of that. Without San Diego, there is no ‘Chargers,’ and I’m sure I’ll get no disagreements there.
However, with the Chargers announcing their move back to Los Angeles, it shuts the door on what wasn’t the most successful run in terms of rings, so to speak, but also shuts the door on memories, meet-ups, tailgating with fellow fans, memorable on-field moments and the scenery of the Chargers and San Diego being a giant family.
I will say this before I get into anything else, I DO NOT support the Spanos’ family. I think they are arrogant, greedy and self-centered.
Then again, that’s how you have to be to make money and be successful nowadays, it seems.
The move to Los Angeles was needed. With the move, they’ve hired essentially a whole new staff, along with a new city, new logo, new staff… new luck?
I feel like this move was the most beneficial thing the Chargers could’ve done for their players and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Now, there’s been bickering back and forth on social media with people saying the City of Angels doesn’t want the Chargers.
*Stephen A Voice* That is blasphemous!
L.A., like all cities with professional sports teams, loves winning and winners.
The San Diego Chargers were a winning team stifled by injuries and poor coaching in recent years, along with flat-out horrible luck in almost every department of the game.
With those ingredients, you’re almost surely going to fail and take losses after losses.
However, that is all out the window now. These are the Los Angeles Chargers.
The new Chargers from Los Angeles are 0-0, as 90% of the fanbase wasn’t alive when the team first/last played at Balboa Stadium in 1960.
Having a complete make over and starting a new franchise, has to make the players both nervous and excited at the same time. The Chargers have vets who’ve played on different teams and in different locations, so in a way I believe the excitement of joining a new city with a new scene will have bigger impact than nerves, jitters and worries.
If there was ever a year to move, this is the one. The Bolts are on the brink of legit contention as they just nailed this past draft. Rivers was gifted a set of linemen that should give him space, time and trust to make all of the correct throws. When Philip is locked in, he can go toe-to-toe with any QB in the league. That is the kind of poster guy you want to have representing your team in perhaps one of the biggest sports cities in the world. Winning at least part of the city over in their first year is key to success. So, this upcoming season can make or break any further label of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Do we have to account for them getting acclimated to StubHub center? I guess there might be a few transitional issues and possibly some home-sickness but LA is their home now and their 3 consecutive weeks of home games from weeks 2-4 should be plenty of time to adjust to the size of the stadium, noise and fan volume.
For the time being until they move in with the Rams in 2019, you have to weather the storm of the stadium being like a college game. 30,000 seats isn’t that much but if you are winning, those 30,000 fans will make their presence known easily. I myself don’t believe it’s going to be hard to win fans over when you have a team that’s healthy and ready to make names for themselves.
The AFC West is only getting more competitive year in and year out so this forces the Chargers hand in a fast way. Either come to LA and win, or be a giant let down and prove everybody right about failing without San Diego. Truth be told, they failed IN San Diego for so long so by them coming to LA and actually succeeding, that shows to some knowledge that SD held them back.
The relationship between the Spanos and the city of San Diego was ruptured. There was no making a deal. Spanos knew people hated him and that they weren’t going to continue supporting a team owned by him. So he made the decision to Bolt to LA in hopes of the team playing how they should and start winning games. He doesn’t care for anybody besides his family and that’s what the fans who decided to not support the team have to understand. No matter what we say, do, or think, he’s only going to care about money. It makes the world go ’round.
But think about our players. The way they get us hype on gamedays. The way we feel when a huge play happens. All the Rivers’ emotions, faces, small antics he does. All those feelings we feel, come from the players, not Spanos. This team may not be the luckiest but man I love them. And just imagine, what if they actually start taking care of business? What if they go out there and start playing wire-to-wire and not letting any feet of the gas? We would all be one happy family again… Not Spanos, though. I got hate in my heart for him. He’s the one that arguably put us against each other and is the one who caused this whole debacle.
In closing, I believe the love we all have for this team is for the players and coaching staff, and that’s where it needs to stay. We need to stick together as fans just as the players would want us to do: rally behind them like we always have and with this fresh start, let’s take the league over!
San Diego will always have a place in my heart. But for now, goodbye San Diego and hello Los Angeles. We’re ready for you!!
THANK YOU, SAN DIEGO.
The 2016 season is finally here. For some Chargers fans, it’s another season to be excited while for the rest of the fans it’s another season of getting ready for let downs.
Starting the season off against the Chiefs IN Arrowhead is monumentally huge for the Chargers. The last time these teams met for an important game was Week 17 of the 2014 season. If the Chargers won, they would get into playoffs. Unfortunately, they would play like absolute trash against Chase Daniel, and Justin Houston single-handedly stalled the Chargers offense and had them rattled the entire game with four sacks and a forced fumble.
During the 2015 season, the Chargers failed to score a touchdown in either game against the Chiefs, losing the games 33-3 and 10-3, respectively.
Now, dating back to that Week 17 game in 2014, the Bolts have missed a key component in all three games since, Keenan “Secondary Slayer” Allen. It’s no secret to anybody or any team in the league just how good Allen is. His most impressive season was his rookie season, by far, where Malcom Floyd went down with a serious neck injury. Allen stepped in Week 2 and from there on, amassed a stat line of 71 receptions, 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns. He followed that season up with 77 receptions, 783 yards and four scores. Injuries had an impact on those years and it felt like every other week he was dealing with something new. He played the first meet up between the Bolts and Chiefs, where the Chiefs did win 23-20, but Allen contributed fairly well with six receptions for 58 yards.
KA13 was on a historic pace last season where he compiled 67 receptions through eight games, putting him on pace for 134 all season. He was putting in a different level of work. Unfortunately for him and the Chargers, an outstanding circus catch against Baltimore — which resulted in one of the greatest touchdowns of the season — ended his 2015 campaign due to suffering a lacerated kidney, forcing him to miss both ’15 contests against Kansas City.
Now, the focus is on Week 1 in Arrowhead where the Chargers will not be seeing Justin Houston, who has tormented the Chargers, or Jamaal Charles, whose speed and elusiveness is and always will be a pain to cover. Tamba Hali is dealing with knee problems but is expected to play on a short workload and the same goes for Phillip Gaines.
As for the Bolts, knock on wood, everybody is healthy. All 22 starters will be playing. Yes, that’s right; even Keenan Allen. The Chargers have a rough time playing in Arrowhead where they are winless in their last two seasons. Their last win came in 2013 and featured a game-winning touchdown with about 20 seconds left from Philip Rivers to former Bolt Seyi Ajirotutu. The Bolts won that game 41-38. Chargers have an all time record of 55-56-1 against the Chiefs and can tie their record with a win Sunday.
The Chargers added Brandon Mebane to stuff the middle and to free up Corey Liuget, Melvin Ingram, Kyle Emanuel and others for one-on-ones. We all have seen what Liuget can do going one-on-one with people. Add the fact that this is a contract year for Ingram and Denzel Perryman’s first season as a full-time starter, and I believe the Chargers have some heat the Chiefs are going to struggle with.
A huge factor to this game will be pressure. The Bolts have an up-and-coming defense; young, fresh and fast. But they need to play up to their potential right out of the gates.
The offense features Philip Rivers at the helm, and with him you always have a chance to win. He may have the best offense he’s had in years with Antonio Gates, Allen, Danny Woodhead, Travis Benjamin, a revamped Gordon and a O-line where as long as they stay healthy, and that’s a stretch, they should provide Philip with more than enough time to get the job done.
In a way, this is a trap game for Kansas City. Everybody is writing the Chargers off immediately. Nobody is giving them a chance.
This is a huge game for the Bolts and they know that. Coming in Week 1, the start of a new season, against a rival and coming home with a win can seriously put an enormous amount of energy and hope moving forward in the season.
Controlling the clock and field position is huge. Sustaining long drives and coming away with more than 3 points is critical. Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is back, so expect a variety of plays from all types of different formations. It will be tremendously loud and the team will have to overcome a lot of adversity early in the season, but if it’s any Chargers team of late that I think can do it, it’s this one.
Assuming that everything goes right for the Chargers and they come out and play to their potential, I can see a realistic scenario where they win by a margin of 10-13 points. My prediction is 27-17 Chargers. But if they come out and play sloppy and are lethargic, it could be a very long day and could shape up to be a disappointing loss.
By all means, do not sleep on the Chiefs! They are a dangerous squad. They might be perhaps the most complete team in the AFC West with Houston and Charles at full health. But neither of them are playing on Sunday, so the Bolts must take advantage.
I do expect Gordon’s first NFL touchdown coming in a 20-plus-yard run fashion or a catch-and-run. Keenan Allen is the X-factor in this one. He’ll create tons of space for the rest of the offense and the same goes for Benjamin. The Chiefs haven’t faced a Chargers team like this in a while.
What a great game to kickoff the 2016 season.
Good luck, Bolts!
When the average football fan thinks about the best quarterbacks currently in the league, they acknowledge Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees as the best in the NFL, and understandably so. But why does Philip Rivers continue to get overlooked? Why can’t he be considered a top-5 or even top-3 signal caller?
Or can he?
It goes without saying that the quarterback position is the most important position in football. Rarely do you see teams succeed without quality quarterback play.
Take the Broncos and Manning last season as an example. The Broncos’ defense was great. Statistically, Peyton had the worst season of his career and had a below average playoffs. But his leadership qualities and his football-genius mind was enough to lead the Broncos to a title (which still haunts me). If you were to put any other QB that had that kind of season that wasn’t Peyton, the Broncos don’t have a Championship right now. Having a quarterback who can take full command of the offense and be trusted day-in and day-out to lead your team to a victory no matter what the scenario is, should be treasured.
Philip Rivers is the embodiment of leadership.
In 2004, the Chargers selected Eli Manning with their 1st overall pick in the draft. However, Eli made it clear he did not want to play for the Chargers. Three picks later, the Giants picked Philip with the 4th pick and the teams managed to come to an agreement that included the Giants getting Eli and, in exchange, the Chargers got Rivers, a 2005 first-rounder which turned into Shawne Merriman, and a 2005 fifth-round pick in which the Chargers traded to Tampa for offensive tackle Roman Oben.
The Chargers were then stuck with a tough decision following the 2005 season: should they go with Drew Brees or Rivers as the team’s quarterback. The choice was obvious in Rivers, as Brees had injury concerns due to a shoulder ailment suffered at the end of the previous season.
In 2006, Rivers’ first full season as the starter under center, he took full advantage of the promotion, throwing 22 touchdowns with nine interceptions and 3,388 yards. Impressive, right? What’s more impressive is the 14-2 record the Chargers produced. Now, of course they benefitted from a historic year from LaDainian Tomlinson, but that is still quite a welcoming to the league for him.
Philip has had a great career in San Diego. There can be endless arguments made as to whether or not quarterbacks like Big Ben, Brady, Rodgers, et cetera are to be considered better than No. 17, having more successful careers even though some of them have benefitted from having great defenses, numerous groupings of clutch players and, most importantly, great coaching.
Philip also has a trait that only he and Eli stand up atop the list among active QBs for… DURABILITY. Including the playoffs, Rivers has started 169 consecutive games. That’s 10 full seasons and nine games of another. When you put into perspective that he tore his ACL against the Colts in the 2007 playoffs and came back in the AFC championship after surgery to play, it tells you a lot about the toughness and leadership he wields.
Another gritty performance that is framed in my mind is in 2014 in the latter half of the year. Philip was dealing with back spasms against the 49ers. He led a furious comeback win in overtime despite having a bum back. Health or off-the-field issues have never been a problem for Rivers.
It goes without saying that Rivers isn’t the best QB in terms of rings or playoff wins. Now that being said, he brings one quality that next to nobody can match, and that is competitiveness. It doesn’t matter if you’re a punter, water boy or 330-pound defensive lineman, Philip will always be in your face. Even if he’s having an off-game, his mouth is always running. The heart and devotion he pours into the Chargers isn’t comparable to any others. The energy Rivers brings to the team is both fierce and contagious. He’s able to develop chemistry with his players exceptionally well,which is evidenced in his relationships with players such as Danny Woodhead, Keenan Allen and, obviously, Antonio Gates.
In 2013 against the Denver Broncos on TNF, the Chargers took the 11-2 Broncos down at Mile High. This performance had to have been my favorite; not only because of what proved to be a very crucial game in an improbable Chargers’ playoff run, but because Rivers handled it like it was just another day at the office. He was out there as competitive as ever, having a good time.
Being a huge fan of Brady, a fan of Brees since the SD days, liking Rodgers cause he’s a surgeon while slinging the rock, I still feel confident in saying that none of the aforementioned signal callers can match Philip’s intensity. That is a really good thing going into this season, because this is a sneaky good team on both sides of the ball.
If Philip can get these young rookies’ heads on straight quickly, this team can be very scary. I truly stand by my opinion when I say the resurgence of Melvin Gordon and the O-Line staying healthy will give Rivers the opportunity to cement his status as a top-3 QB this year. As long as this roster continues to gel and get better, he should have multiple shots at championships, and that might be the only thing separating him from being thrown into the mix with everyone else’s favorite quarterbacks.
Rivers is currently 14th all-time on the passing list with 41,447 yards, and can move into 7th or 8th with a 4,500-yard-plus campaign. He also has 281 passing TDs, which is ranked 11th in NFL history; having as little as 20-25 touchdowns this could move him up three or four spots. All of this is incredible when you realize that he didn’t start for the first two years of his career.
In comparing him to another Chargers great, Dan Fouts, let’s take a look on how their stats match up.
Fouts had a 14-year career in San Diego ranging from 1973-1987. Philip has been in the league for 12 years now, so their stats should match up similarly, right? Well, in terms of durability, they’re both as reliable as super glue for a school project. Fouts played in 181 games in his career and started 171, while Philip has played in 164 and started 160.
A lot of people consider accuracy to be the main ingredient in selecting a QB. While Fouts does have roughly 2,000 more career passing yards — 43,040– than Rivers — 41,447 — while his accuracy is far worse. In fact, Philip makes Fouts look little league when I researched each of their completion percentages.
Rivers boasts a 281-135 touchdown-to-interception ratio, while as Fouts holds a 254-242 ratio. Rivers’ career completion percentage of 64.8 is exactly 6% points higher than that of Fouts (58.8%). Total QBR — Quarterback rating — is another stat in which Philip takes a dominant lead on Fouts. Philip clocks in with a whopping 95.5 QBR compared to Fouts’ number of 80.2.
In terms of records, Philip also grabs the crown. Rivers has piled up a 92-68 record and Fouts had 86-84-1 record. Fouts does have an MVP award and one more Pro-Bowl nod than Rivers, six to five, respectively.
In 1993, Fouts was elected to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. Rivers still has a couple of years or so to grab every possible passing statistic in Chargers history and, furthermore, climb up the NFL’s all-time passing ranks. So in that theory, I very much expect Philip to be a sure-lock for the Hall Of Fame.
Now, lets take a look and compare his stats to his fellow 2004 draftees, Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.
While you can easily say that both of them have the easy edge over Rivers by having 2 rings, that doesn’t define one player as a whole. I did some research and noted that both Ben and Eli started the year they were drafted. Philip did not start a game until the 2006 season. But what shocks me most is that Philip isn’t too far behind in stats and, in fact, had the same kind of seasons, if not better seasons, the years Ben and Eli won their respective rings.
We can look at Eli’s numbers first. In 2007, the year the Giants made history and took down the Patriots, Eli’s stat-line finished with 23 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, 3,336 yards and a 56.1 completion percentage. Philip had almost identical numbers that season with 21 touchdowns 15 interceptions, 3,152 yards and a 60.1 completion percentage. You could even make a case that had Philip not torn his ACL those playoffs, that Chargers-Patriots game would have finished with a different victor.
Next, let’s touch base on Big Ben’s 2008 championship season.
Roethlisberger’s stat-line for that year included 17 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 3,301 yards and a 59.9 completion percentage. Now, at the end of the day, he won a ring, but Philip’s 2008 season was far superior. In fact, that could’ve been Philip’s best year stat-wise, despite the Bolts finishing 8-8. He produced 34 touchdowns to just 11 Interceptions with a completion percentage of 65.5, boasting an outstanding QB rating of 105.5.
Has Philip had the success both Eli and Ben have had in terms of winning rings? No. Has he put his team on his back more and given his teammates more opportunities to win? Certainly.
Philip currently ranks behind both of them on the all-time leaderboards for passing. Rivers is ranked 14th behind Ben by about 1,500 yards, and is behind Eli — 11th — by roughly 3,000.
In my honest opinion, I believe when it’s all said and done, he’ll be above both of them. Additionally, he’s 11th on the passing TDs leaderboard — in front of Ben by nine touchdowns and behind Eli by 13.
Taking these facts and stats into consideration, the rings weigh a huge amount in terms of Philip not getting the credit he deserves.
So, while there might a small strain of bias on my part, I ensure you that Philip is everything I have made him out to be in this article, and everything he’s proven via the numbers provided above. He’s a franchise QB, a positive role model on and off the field and a rare leader, competitor and talent that you won’t come across very often. It is also worth noting, he’s a damn good dresser. You can never go wrong with rattlesnake-skin boots and a bolo tie.
I encourage you all to tune into some Chargers games this season and check him out and let me know what you think.
Where does Philip rank on your list? Let me know in the comment section below.
EDITOR’S NOTE: BoltBlitz.com staff writer Charlie LaFurno is expecting some big things for your San Diego Chargers in 2016. In an effort to explain how the team will be able to achieve the expectations that LaFurno has for them this year, he highlights three keys which will enable the Bolts to be very successful during the ’16 campaign.
First, let’s start things off with giving both the Chargers and Joey Bosa several rounds of applause until our hands hurt. They FINALLY reached a contract agreement of $25.8 Million over four years this Monday. The contract comes with a $17 million signing bonus and makes him the highest paid upfront rookie in Chargers history.
As it stands after the Bosa signing, I certainly believe the Chargers can be a 10-plus win team and, depending on how they play their division games, they could very well end up at 11-5 or 12-4. Now, in order for this to actually happen, and for Chargers fans to stop dreaming and this finally become a reality, a couple of things need to play out in the Bolts’ favor.
Melvin Gordon having a breakout season is a KEY part to the Chargers’ success this season. He showed flashes of the Wisconsin version of Melvin Gordon this preseason, albeit a small sample size. He had three carries for 12 yards against the Titans in Week 1, adding a 44-yard touchdown catch — something he failed to do all last season was getting into the endzone. Hopefully that shook the jitters off for the youngster. But, he continued to stay hungry even though the starting position is his. He didn’t have a huge second game, rushing six times for 18 yards, but he came back the next week against the Vikings and had a BIG performance even though the Bolts fell short. Gordon rushed four times for 51 yards, including a 39-yard TD. Granted the play was audibled by Rivers and Gordon got a little lucky with the Vikings linebacker completely misplaying it, but No. 28 finished the play, showing elite speed and burst. THAT play got me extremely optimistic and enthusiastic. Gordon did not play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the 49ers. Keep him fresh for Week 1 in Arrowhead. The team is really going to NEED him.
The offensive line staying healthy and getting continuous reps and playing time together will come a long way in developing the chemistry that they have failed to sustain for a while now. Barksdale is the only lineman that played in every game last year. Last season, the Chargers used 26 different O-Line combinations.. TWENTY SIX. To say that is putrid would even be an extreme understatement. The Bolts averaged a measly 3.46 yards on the ground last season — 32nd in the league — and it needs to improve going forward if they want to have a shot at the Lombardi Trophy.
This offseason, San Diego signed Matt Slauson and drafted former Trojan Max Tuerk in the 3rd round. I loved the pick because I watched some film and saw that he has good athleticism and outstanding movement. He doesn’t overcommit on plays which is huge and could be a clutch player for years to come. The starting offensive linemen should consist of Dunlap, Franklin, Slauson, Fluker and Barksdale. That is a very capable group of talented individuals to create space for MG28 to eat, eat, eat and eat some more. We already know what Philly Riv can do when given the proper amount of time to throw the football to his bevy of weapons.
Last, but not least, the defensive line. I feel like the last time I saw a good Chargers’ rush unit was when I was on the couch at nights before bed playing Pokémon. And no, I’m not talking about Pokémon Go, I’m talking about the actual Gameboy games. In the midst of the contract stalemate Bosa and the Chargers had, he was still working out at different facilities in Florida up to three times a day. His work ethic and leadership are lights out. He reminds me of somebody. As it stands now, the starting defensive line will feature Liuget, Mebane, Philon with Bosa coming in on 3rd downs or in sub-packages until he gets fully ready to man that right spot. The Chargers also have Ingram, Emanuel and Attaochu as the outside linebackers. Both Ingram and Attaochu are speedy, freakish athletes but they have to remain healthy and produce consistently. Emanuel is solid on early downs, setting the edge and helping to slow down opposing ball carriers.
This is a year where the Bolts might know what it feels like to get to QBs that still have the ball in their hand and what does that lead to?? Turnovers. Everybody loves turnovers. It’s just us Chargers fans who aren’t really used to them. To make the Joey Bosa addition even better, the Chargers went and got Jatavis Brown. where they ranked 1st and 5th, respectively, in TFL in FBS over the last two seasons.
There’s going to be some plays where the defensive line doesn’t look good, but John Pagano’s defensive unit features Denzel Perryman and Manti Te’o to clean it up, along with the Electric Avenue secondary!
All in all, if all three of those things can happen at a consistent rate, the Chargers will be in very good shape to make a run this year. I predict Melvin to produce 1,200 yards, 8-9 TDs and 30-40 catches with 2 TDs. His improvement in the running game will open up play-action passes and defenses are not going to be ready for Keenan, Gates and Benjamin on the field; there are just too many weapons to account for, especially when you have one of the greatest QBs in Philip Rivers.
I predict the Chargers will have a top-5 offense and a top-10 defense. My honest prediction is 11-5 — if healthy — with a 4-2 division record.
Get hype Chargers fans!!! This franchise is ALIIIIIIVEEEEE!