Here are the Chargers’ 5 biggest questions for this season

As ever, there are plenty of questions about the Chargers, a team with a roster that appears to be bordering on the elite level in the NFL. As ever, though, the answers to those questions aren’t likely to be revealed until weeks or months have passed and the season nears its close.

Here are five questions, with the answers to come, for the 2023 Chargers:

Can they put the past in the past?

Chargering,” as defined by the Urban Dictionary, is the “act of blundering when you should have things well in hand.” The Chargers’ come-from-ahead loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in last season’s AFC wild-card game, when they squandered a 27-point second-quarter lead en route to a 31-30 loss, was only the most recent example of the black cloud that seems to hang over the franchise. Could this be the season the Chargers finally put their reputation as underachieving bumblers to rest? Might they fulfill the mighty expectations that have been placed upon them. Well, it’s going to take a lot of work, that’s for sure. The window for success appears to be wide open, but can the Chargers run through it? Or will they perform another epic trip-and-fall that adds another chapter to their tortured legacy?

Will Justin Herbert take the next steps?

It’s hard to imagine Herbert doing more to lift the Chargers into the playoffs after he suffered fractured rib cartilage in Week 2, after Keenan Allen and Mike Williams missed games because of injuries, and after key offensive linemen suffered significant injuries. Herbert didn’t miss a start the rest of the way and topped 4,000 yards passing for the third consecutive season to start his NFL career. He finished second in the league behind Patrick Mahomes of the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers then made Herbert the highest-paid player in league history with a five-year, $262.5 million contract extension. They also got him more help by drafting standout wide receiver Quentin Johnston in the first round and hired new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore after firing Joe Lombardi.

Can they avoid serious injuries?

Herbert appeared limited in the weeks after his rib injury last season and didn’t regain his form until the final month or so. Edge rusher Joey Bosa missed almost all of the season after he suffered a groin injury in Week 3 that required surgery and, like Herbert, wasn’t 100% upon his return. Cornerback J.C. Jackson ruptured his patellar tendon in Week 7 and underwent season-ending surgery. Wide receiver Jaylen Guyton hurt his knee in Week 3 and sat out for the rest of the season. Defensive linemen Austin Johnson and Otito Ogbonnia each suffered season-ending knee injuries. Offensive lineman Rashawn Slater was sidelined by a season-ending biceps rupture. Anything resembling a similar rash of injuries to key personnel could prove to be the Chargers’ undoing during the 2023 season.

Can the defense play as well as the offense?

Maybe it’s too much to ask for the Chargers’ defense to play to the level of their offense. Perhaps the level of competition around the AFC is too great to believe any given defense can match any given offense. But the Chargers seem bent on giving it a shot, having signed veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks and drafted edge rusher Tuli Tuipulotu in the second round, linebacker Daiyan Henley in the third and defensive lineman Scott Matlock in the sixth. If the offense clicks as expected, it’s up to the defense to improve. Anything less could mean another season of unfulfilled promise for a team with so many individual talents on the roster.

Can Brandon Staley survive another playoff pratfall?

Fans and pundits alike were mystified and maybe even angered by the Chargers’ decision to retain Staley for his third season as head coach after the wild-card defeat against Jacksonville on Jan. 14, which followed a season-ending loss to the Las Vegas Raiders that denied them a playoff berth in the 2021 season. Changes were made with Moore replacing Lombardi as offensive coordinator and Derrick Ansley taking over for Renaldo Hill as defensive coordinator. Staley stayed put, though, and a few tweaks were made to a roster that seems poised for a deeper playoff run than last season.

Related Articles

Los Angeles Chargers |

Chargers QB Justin Herbert the same only different going into Year 4

Los Angeles Chargers |

Chargers’ J.C. Jackson primed for return to lineup after serious knee injury

Los Angeles Chargers |

2023 Chargers defense: Position-by-position breakdown

Los Angeles Chargers |

2023 Chargers offense: Position-by-position breakdown

Los Angeles Chargers |

Chargers’ Cameron Dicker ‘the right guy’ for kicking duties this season

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *