What went wrong for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019?

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By Kyle Fahey March 1, 2020 0 Comment
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The Los Angeles Chargers fell well short of expectations in 2019. How did they go from playoff contenders to picking sixth overall in the 2020 NFL Draft?

The Los Angeles Chargers don’t have fans, don’t have a real home field, and are now without their best QB in franchise history… and yet are still one good off-season away from being a playoff contender in the AFC. The defending champion Kansas City Chiefs might have something to say about that, but a carefully crafted offseason can make the Chargers a team to keep your eyes on very soon.


Though their 2019 record may not show it, the Chargers were fortunate enough to have an abundance of elite-level talent on both sides of the ball. Combine that with the impressive coach that Anthony Lynn is, and it seems that you have a playoff contender in the making. Health is going to be the biggest storyline for the Bolts in 2020. If they can stay healthy, this is a wild card team or potential division champ depending on a possible post super bowl slump from the Chiefs. Excellent drafting and keeping homegrown talent will be a must for General Manager Tom Telesco going into 2020.


Quarterback is the biggest question heading into the 2020 season, but whoever will be the signal-caller next season will be fortunate to have elite talent around them. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are monsters amongst men, and the combination of Melvin Gordon (currently Free Agent, likely to be re-signed) and Justin Jackson look to be one of the better backfields in the league. Free agents Hunter Henry and Austin Eckler are going to be potential significant losses for the Bolts, but it’s always a possibility that both get brought back. It should be added that neither Henry nor Eckler are going to make the brinks truck come into town, but they will likely both have many suitors. Some speculation suggests that Hunter Henry could be franchise tagged and would be only the second player tagged by the Chargers in the past decade. The offensive line for the Chargers is the second biggest question heading into the offseason.

Last year’s line ranked 13th in run blocking and 9th in pass blocking but left tackle Russel Okung is subject to getting cut to save cap, guards Forrest Lamp, and Dan Feeney are question marks. The right tackle position is likely to be a low-end veteran or highly coveted rookie. The only constant on the Chargers line will be Mike Pouncey, who is 30 and coming off a significant neck injury.


Health is going to be the biggest key to success for the Chargers, and it’s going to start on defense. There is an elite player at almost every position on this Chargers defense. Joey Bosa is one of the league’s premier edge rushers, Melvin Ingram continues to be a stud in both the run and pass game, and a healthy Derwin James is coming to help bolster the secondary that was carried by Casey Hayward last season. Beyond the stars, young players like Nasir Adderley and Jerry Tillery will likely make a jump in production from their rookie years.

The same can be said for the unheralded players on the defense like Drue Tranquill, who had a good season for the Bolts last year and will likely jump in production or at
least maintain his 2019 status. Free-agent Adrian Phillips will probably be a loss for the Chargers, but the 2019 second-round pick Nasir Adderley was likely to take some of Phillips reps in 2020 anyways. Look for this Chargers defense to be even better than 2019 and likely be the reason for the Chargers’ overall success.


Ultimately, a deal or franchise tag will keep Hunter Henry and Melvin Gordon in the City of Angels for 2020 and beyond. Tyrod Taylor and a late-round rookie will likely be in the QB room to start the year for the Chargers, and life after Philip Rivers will be easier than expected and probably be causation for a better overall offense.

The first round of the 2020 NFL draft will be dedicated to the offensive line and the Chargers will go into next season with at Trey Pipkins (3 rd round pick 2019), Mark Schofield (resigned), Mike Pouncey, Dan Feeney/ Forrest Lamp, and Tristan Wirfs (Tackle from Iowa).

Derwin James will have another All-Pro caliber season and will lead the Chargers defense to a top 10 efficiency ranking.

The Chargers offense will be stable but lacking in incredibly explosive plays due to the play of Tyrod Taylor, expect Melvin Gordon to become a workhorse again.

The Chargers will benefit from one of the easiest schedules in the league next season and claim a wildcard spot with a very similar identity to the 2019 Tennessee Titans.

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