It’s Two Weeks Late, but here is The Bulletin’s 2019 Chargers Season Previewcsudhbulletin September 17, 2019 0 COMMENTS
By Jeremy Gonzalez, Sports Editor
It’s every football fan’s favorite time of year: the kickoff weekend for the National Football League. It’s a fresh start for both fans and the team they support. And it’s also time for print and online publications big, small and everything in between, to run their NFL previews of local teams.
Which the Bulletin forgot. Don’t get me wrong: this story was written two Saturdays ago and just waiting to be edited and then posted online. But the staff was in the business of moving into our very own newsroom on the third floor of the library, as well as putting the first issue of this semester’s paper together, and no one realized that with this being the final year of the Charger’s three-year couch surfing stay in Carson before moving into the new stadium in Inglewood for the 2020 season it was terribly important get this Chargers season preview in BEFORE the season started.
But better late than never, right? The Chargers are coming off a very successful 2018 campaign. in which they made the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and posted their most victories since 2009. They also beat the Baltimore Ravens on the road in the first round of the playoffs, only to fall to the eventual Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots.
The most important position on any NFL roster is the quarterback. You can have a roster loaded with talent, but if the team does not have the right quarterback to distribute the ball, then it all comes crashing down. Luckily, the Chargers have an ageless wonder in Phillip Rivers, who’s been with the Chargers since 2004. A fierce competitor, Rivers will do everything he can to keep the Chargers in any game he plays in.
In case Rivers goes down with any injury, backup QB Tyrod Taylor is there to patch things up. Taylor is a proven veteran who has started for multiple NFL teams in his career, which is why he’s the #2 behind Rivers.
The Chargers have a star running back, but he’s not with the team at the moment. His name is Melvin Gordon, but he’s holding out from playing football and participating in team activities in the hopes that the Chargers will give him a new contract. The team is preparing to play some games without Gordon, as running backs Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson will now split carries to handle the run game for the Chargers.
At the wide receiver position, the Chargers lost Tyrell Williams to division rival Oakland Raiders, but they still contain one of the most underrated WR duos in the league with Keenan Allen and third-year wide receiver Mike Williams.
Allen is one of the league’s top route runners who can put up big numbers, especially with the rapport he built with Rivers. Williams took a huge step in his second year with the Chargers, grabbing 10 touchdowns in 2018. That number might regress in 2019, but for a good reason: tight end Hunter Henry returns from an injury-riddled 2018 where he tore his ACL. Henry will provide Rivers with another reliable red zone target. The trio of Allen, Williams, and Henry will allow Rivers to carve up defenses all season long.
On defense, the Chargers return the core of starters from last year. Defensive ends Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram form one of the most intimidating duos, not just in the AFC West, but in the entire league.
The secondary took a major hit when starting safety Derwin James went down with an injury in training camp. He is expected to miss most of the regular season. But it still has Adrian Phillips, who last season received first-team All-Pro honors and earned himself a trip to the Pro Bowl. However, last Sunday in the Chargers 13-10 loss to Detroit, Phillips broke his arm trying to tackle a running back and he may be lost for the season.
That means more pressure is on cornerback Casey Hayward and the rest of the defensive backs to be even better ball hawks and create lots of turnovers.
Linebacker Kyzir White looks to get a chance to show the fans and organization what he can really do after only playing in three games during his rookie campaign. In those three games, fans got a sneak peek of the sideline-to-sideline player’s abilities to make plays all over the field. Expect White to emerge as the leader of the linebacker corps this season.
Game Day Experience
Part of the NFL game day experience is getting the chance to tailgate hours before the game begins with friends or a group of fellow NFL fans. You get to grill burgers and hot dogs. The smell of charcoal and meat grilling fills the air outside any NFL stadium. It’s a tradition that’s been around for almost as long as the NFL has been around.
Like any NFL stadium, Dignity Health Sports Park allows for tailgating in certain parking lots. But it’ll cost you a pretty penny for it. Parking in the lots where tailgating is permitted costs $100. Yes, you read that correctly. $100 to be allowed to grill a burger and a few hot dogs. And maybe drink a beer or two. If you prefer to not tailgate, there are non-tailgating lots that only cost $40 to park.
But if you spent the money to buy tickets for a game at
Being in a division with the reigning NFL MVP is never easy. The Kansas City Chiefs will prove to be a difficult challenge for the Chargers, and current MVP, KC
Prediction: Chargers 11-5, #1 Wild Card spot.