San Diego Chargers: The biggest surprises this year

The San Diego Chargers are now sitting with a .500 record of 3-3 after the first six weeks of the season.  They have played some great football for some games and some very disappointing football for others.  The team still is in the running for the playoffs if they can become more consistent, and this week’s matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars should only help.  Among all this, its time to look at the biggest surprises for the Bolts this year.

Offensive Line

The Chargers offensive line was arguably the worst in the NFL last season.  To improve this year, they brought in three new starters as well as shifted Jeromy Clary from tackle to guard.  This year, the line was expected to be better, but still be well below average.  However, the line has actually played surprisingly well for most of the season.  The team is actually ranked 5th in the NFL in sacks allowed while the yards per carry is tied for 21st.  Being ranked in the lower half for yards per carry isn’t ideal, but one thing to consider is that the Chargers don’t have a star running back like many teams ranked higher.

San Diego Chargers

Philip Rivers (Christopher Hanewinckel, USA Today Sports)

Passing Game

Last year, Philip Rivers seemed to be in jeopardy of losing his job if he continued to play like he had been playing.  To add to that, the number one and two wide receivers Danario Alexander and Malcolm Floyd are out for the entire season with injuries.  Despite all of this, the San Diego passing game has been dominant this year.  From a statistical standpoint Rivers has been a top 3 quarterback with over 1,800 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Rookie Keenan Allen has also emerged as a number one receiver and has played exceptionally well in the past three weeks.  The passing game should only improve has the young receivers settle more into the offense.

Defense

Unfortunately not all of the surprises have been good.  Aside from last Monday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts, the Chargers defense has been a weak point this season.  The defense has been giving up way too many yards, the 5th most in the NFL.  They were expected to struggle against the pass, but the defense hasn’t been able to do much of anything so far.  The team has only 14 sacks this season, putting them at 19th in the NFL.  This is surprising because Corey Liuget and Kendall Reyes were supposed to develop into sacking machines this season.  The two have only combined for 3 sacks, and need to step their game to make this team a real competitor.

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