Los Angeles Chargers 2020 Team Analysis
The 2020 NFL season will be one of transition for the Los Angeles Chargers. For starters, they are leaving their short-term home at the small StubHub Center to move into SoFi Stadium, which they will share with the Rams in Inglewood. Second, they will have to contend with the departure of franchise quarterback Philip Rivers as well as Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon.
As if that was not enough, the Chargers also have the fortune of sharing a division with the reigning Super Bowl Odds champions. Not only that, the Chiefs have won the AFC West in each of the last 4-seasons. Does this mean we shouldn’t expect much out of the Chargers in 2020?
If you are new to betting, check out our NFL betting hub page.
Los Angeles Chargers 2020 Schedule
|at Cincinnati Bengals|
|Kansas City Chiefs|
|at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|at New Orleans Saints|
|New York Jets|
|at Miami Dolphins|
|Las Vegas Raiders|
|at Denver Broncos|
|at Buffalo Bills|
|New England Patriots|
|at Las Vegas Raiders|
Dec. 26/27 TBA
|at Kanas City Chiefs|
Los Angeles Chargers News & Picks
Los Angeles Chargers Key Games
The Chargers only have four playoff teams from 2019 on their schedule, with two games against Kansas City, road games against the Saints and Bills and a home game against the Patriots. They host Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in week 4 and have a well-placed week 10 bye.
Games against the Jets, Dolphins, Bengals, Panthers, Falcons and Jaguars will go a long way in determining if Anthony Lynn’s team is ready to make a big step toward a winning season and getting back to playoff contention. The interesting part in looking at the schedule is trying to guess when Herbert takes over as the full-time starter, or if Taylor can hold onto the reigns all season.
Last Year’s History
Just about nothing went right for the Chargers last season, starting with Gordon’s lengthy holdout which lasted through September. By the time Gordon signed, the Chargers were already 1-2 and on their way to a 2-5 start. Back-to-back wins over the Bears and Packers temporarily righted the ship but it didn’t last.
The Chargers dropped two more games before their bye week and ended up winning just one of the last seven games on the schedule. The running game never found traction as Gordon and Austin Ekeler combined for 1169 yards and the offense turned the ball over 31 times, third-worst in the NFL. That resulted in the Chargers having the 10th most yards in the league but they finished 21st in scoring. Needless to say, there were never in contention for the AFC West.
Joey Bosa is one of the few people to earn a 99 overall rating in Madden. Clearly this man is one of the best defensive ends in pro football, at least according to Madden. Bosa is coming off a season in which he put up 47 tackles, 20 assists, 7 ½ sacks and 1 forced fumble. There’s no question Bosa is the leader of this defense. But with Rivers now gone on offense, he might have to step up and be the leader of the Chargers as a whole.
Allen was the only member of the Chargers offense to earn Pro Bowl honors last season. Allen did so by turning in a 1,046 receiving yards, 8 touchdown, and 71 receptions season. This marked Allen’s third straight season in which he caught for more than 1,000 yards. However, without Rivers slinging him the football, there’s no telling what kind of numbers Allen will put up this season. At the very least Los Angeles knows they have a top-tier receiver at their disposal.
Following Gordon’s holdout, Los Angeles determined the back was not worth the effort. Now it’s up to Ekeler to step in and become the feature back for the Chargers. Last season the third year player turned in 557 rushing yards, and 3 rushing touchdowns. However, he added 993 yards to his resume in receiving as well as 8 receiving touchdowns. Clearly Los Angeles values his versatility. Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if LA turns to the running game more now that Rivers is no longer on the roster.
The Chargers brought in three veterans via free agency to help with the rebuild. Offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga is a key piece to protect either Taylor or Herbert, assuming the former Packer can stay healthy. On defense, Linval Joseph was added from the Vikings to anchor the line and DB Chris Harris was plucked from the Broncos to help with the tattered secondary.
A March trade with the Panthers brought five-time Pro Bowler OG Trai Turner to the Chargers line. The Chargers also added LB Nick Vigil from Cincinnati. While it isn’t a new addition, GM Tom Telesco locked up TE Henry with the franchise tag.
In the draft, the Chargers took QB Justin Herbert out of Oregon with the sixth overall selection. With their second pick of the first round, LA took Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray with the 23rd pick. The Chargers didn’t pick again until the fourth round when they took UCLA RB Joshua Kelly. Two of the final three picks addressed WR depth with Joe Reed from Virginia and K.J. Hill from Ohio State.
This starts with Rivers (Colts) who made 224 straight regular-season starts at QB for the Chargers. The last time another player started under center for the franchise was Drew Brees in San Diego at the end of the 2005 season. Also leaving the Chargers this off-season was Gordon, who signed with division-rival Denver. Tackle leader Thomas Davis was released in March and signed with the Redskins.
Offensive Tackle Russell Okung was traded to Carolina while FB Derek Watt is now with the Steelers. On defense LB Nick Dzubnar signed with the Titans and S Adrian Phillips inked a deal with the Patriots.
The AFC West is definitely the Kansas City Chiefs domain as they have won four straight division titles. The Super Bowl champs have reloaded as well and appear as strong a contender as anyone to win the AFC.
The other two teams in the division, Las Vegas and Denver, both went 7-9 last year. Denver did so by winning four of their last five to pick up momentum while the Raiders collapsed down the stretch in 2019 after starting 6-4. Denver is now fully committed to second-year QB Drew Lock while the Raiders added numerous pieces this off-season for their big move to Nevada.
Los Angeles Chargers Offense
Last season the Chargers were great at passing the ball, but terrible in both the run game and scoring. They were the 6th best passing game in the league, putting up 276.6 passing yards per game. That didn’t account for much in the end as the Chargers were only scoring 21.06 per match giving them the NFL’s 21st best scoring offense. The running game sputtered their way to 90.8 yards per game, which pegged them as the 4th worst running unit in the league.
All in all, it’s too early to tell what the Chargers will be doing offensively this season. However, we have seen a flurry of teams find unprecedented success with young quarterbacks. The Chiefs sat Mahomes for a year and it paid off big time last season.
Los Angeles Chargers Defense
Same as their offense, the Chargers’ defense was great in one area but mediocre in all others. Against the pass they were the 5th best defense in the NFL. On the other hand, they couldn’t stop the run one bit. In fact they gave up 112.81 rushing yards per game as well as 21.56 points. Considering the defensive additions they made during the offseason, we can expect Los Angeles to make a step up in 2020.
What is the Los Angeles Chargers’ all-time record?
Who owns the Los Angeles Chargers?
Dean Spanos is the owner of the Los Angeles Chargers.
How many Super Bowls have the Los Angeles Chargers won?
The Chargers have yet to win a Super Bowl.
Who is the quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers?
The Chargers will be going with either Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert for quarterback this season.