Bounce Back Year: 2020 Los Angeles Chargers season predictions

  • Austin Ekeler
  • Joey Bosa
  • Justin Herbert
  • keenan allen
  • los angeles chargers
  • Mike Williams
  • Tyrod Taylor
By Tyler Lawrence September 7, 2020 0 Comment
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With the Los Angeles Chargers 2020 Season set to begin, it is time to make some predictions about what to expect from the team.

Justin Herbert Redshirts the Entire Season and Maybe longer

With Anthony Lynn naming Tyrod Taylor the Los Angeles Chargers starter, many expect that Justin Herbert will see the field at some point this season. Reports out of training camp have been mostly positive, though Herbert has struggled. It was evident that Taylor has given the team the best opportunity to win. That is to be expected considering how training camp and OTA’s has been modified with COVID-19 restrictions in place. Herbert really was never given a fair shake with the lack of rookie mini camp and preseason games.

The team seems to have rallied behind Taylor as their starter and locker room leader. Taylor would really need to disappoint for Herbert to see the field. The only real opportunity that Herbert has is going to come in the form of an injury to Taylor, whose running style does increase the probability that Taylor will miss some time this season. Depending on how Taylor plays, a reunion in 2021 isn’t out of the question either. There seems to be no rush at getting Herbert on the field and Lynn’s job security might push him to keep a veteran under center as long as possible.

Four Different Players Rush for over 500 Yards

It is easy to predict that the Chargers with have a committee backfield for the 2020 season, and with Austin Ekeler ability to see snaps at receiver, this will most certainly mean that Justin Jackson and Joshua Kelley will see significant carries. The backfield is a very young group of runners who carry the rock with different styles.

That really opens up the playbook for new offensive coordinator, Shane Steichan. With this three-headed monster, an upgraded offensive line and a shift away from a Philip Rivers-led, gunslinger-style of offense, its easy to project three different players rushing for over 500 yards next season. The forth is Tyrod Taylor, who adds a brand new dynamic that Charger fans have never seen before.

Mike Williams Regresses

At no fault of his own, Mike Williams should regress due to style of quarterback under center. Williams isn’t known for his route running ability and doesn’t fit the strengths of Taylor. He will make a few eye opening plays down field, but don’t expect him to get as many opportunities that Philip Rivers gave to him. Taylor isn’t the type of player to air it out often, which is really the primary strength of Mike Williams.

What you should expect is increased usage in the red zone. He may finish with 650 -750 yards with five to seven touchdowns. Mike Williams will likely be used more as a decoy to open up for guys underneath. Williams will return back to his normal self once Herbert finally see’s the field. It is possible that Joe Reed and KJ Hill could see more receptions than Mike Williams.

Chargers Predictions for Awards in the 2020 Season

The six players who will make the pro bowl is Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Trai Turner, Joey Bosa, Drue Tranquill and Kenneth Murray. There are easily more players on this roster talented enough to receive this award, but the number of players who make a pro bowl from a team usually heavily depends on the teams success that season. With the Chargers predicted record, these six really make sense.

With Melvin Gordon in Denver, Austin Ekeler is now in the spotlight, and if he can replicate his 2019 season, watch out! Expect Shane Steichan to make Ekeler the focal point of the offense this season. Keenan Allen just signed a 4-year $80/million contract and will need to earn it. Allen is still the best player on this offense and his style of play fits Tyrod Taylor perfectly. Lastly, Trai Turner has made the Pro Bowl in five of six seasons, so there is no reason to think he won’t this year, especially with Pouncey to his left and Bulaga to his right.

On defense, Joey Bosa is the highest paid defensive player in the league, so a pro bowl is literally the smallest of expectations. Bosa is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and he should earn his first All-Pro award this season. With the arrival of Linval Joseph on the interior of the defense, the double teams he commands will free up both Drue Tranquill and Kenneth Murray to rack up tackles.

Impressive young linebacker room

Tranquill had 75 tackles in limited action last year and is set to be the weakside starter this season. Kenneth Murray is rumored to have earned a starting role in front of Denzel Perryman. Murray will benefit the most from all the stars around him as the teams mike linebacker. Chargers are no strangers to Rookie of the Year honors and Murray is in a prime position to take the award this season. The combo of Tranquill and Murray will make for one of the most athletic tandems at linebacker in all of football.

Chargers 2020 Season Schedule Predictions

The Chargers will start the season (2-2). The Bengals are upgraded from being the worst team in the NFL in 2019, but the fact remains that Joe Burrow is a rookie going up against a Chargers defenses that projects as a top five unit. Burrow will struggle and the Chargers will get takeaways. The following week, the Chargers take on the Super Bowl Champs in the first game played at SoFi Stadium. Somehow, the Chiefs got better in 2020 and could be a lot to handle. Week three, the Chargers get their first win at SoFi. The Panthers are going through an identity change with a new coaching staff, a new quarterback under center and no Luke Keuchly on defense. The following week, the Chargers take their second loss on the road in Tampa. Brady always seems to have the formula to beat the Bolts.

The Chargers will get to Week 8 at (4-4). The Saints might be the best team in all of football, so a win in NOLA is not easy. The following week, the Chargers get the Jets at home, which should be an easy win. Taylor and the Bolts will then head to Miami, where Tua Tagovailoa will have become the starter by now. The Chargers will lose a close one here. Week 8, the Jaguars come to town. Minshew Mania has faded and the Jaguars are a team tanking for Trevor Lawrence.

Around the halfway point

The Chargers get to 6-6 on the back half of the season. There is no denying that every team in the AFC West is upgraded and they play the Raiders and Broncos in back-to-back weeks. Expect the Chargers to trade wins with their division rivals, hopefully with losses here and wins later. Next is a trip to Buffalo where Tyrod gets his revenge game, inking out a win over the Bills. Over in Foxborough, don’t expect the Cam-Belicheck dynamic to work out.

Home Stretch

The last four weeks in the season includes three division games and a race for a playoff spot. The Falcons are going to be an interesting team in 2020, but the Chargers defense should be in form and they need to win this game. At some point, Marcus Mariota should take over for a benched Derek Carr. Turmoil in Vegas should equal a win. Denver is going to be difficult, but the Chargers need this win. Sitting at 9-5, the Chargers play the Chiefs high-powered offense in Kansas City in a game flexed for Sunday Night Football. The Chiefs take the win and the Chargers end the season at (10-6). However, that will result a playoff spot with the expanded playoff bracket. Where they go from there remains to be seen.

Final Predictions

Even with Derwin James season prematurely cut short, expect the Chargers to rank top five on defense in terms of yards allowed and points scored. There is a star at every level and quality depth at every position. On offense, expect the team to struggle to consistently move the ball. The team lacks depth on the offensive line, speed at wide receiver and will have a new playbook. That combines with a modified training camp could spell issues to begin the season. Therefore, if the Chargers do make the playoffs, it will be on the backs of a star-studded defense.

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