The 2012 San Diego Chargers will start the season like normal: with Norv Turner on the hot seat. It’s amazing that Norv still has a job after being at the helm of a team that has so much talent and nothing to show for it. You have to admit that Turner has been very effective with offenses over the years, but he just can’t get the Chargers to cross the bridge to the Super Bowl. And last season was sub par to say the least. They struggled in just about every game. There All Pro caliber quarterback was the biggest culprit in the struggle, since he developed a nasty habit of throwing interceptions. Going into this year, they are down a couple of vital weapons to their past successes. Vincent Jackson, who finally got his way by kicking and screaming his way into free agency, signed with Tampa Bay. Jackson was a 1000 yard receiver who was a big target. The Chargers also lost Mike Tolbert to the Panthers. Tolbert was a goal line beast who was good for double-digit TDs. They were still able to keep some important pieces, and they were also able to procure the services of other important players through free agency. The Chargers will have a tall order to compete in the division. Norv Turner will be in his normal position: in the hot seat.
Fantasy Football Studs: Philip Rivers had a bad season last year. But a bad season for Rivers doesn’t equate to what other QBs might do. He still had 4624 passing yards and 27 TDs. Not bad, but not his usual. Also included in the abnormality was the 20 INTs. But you still have to consider Rivers a stud. Another stud is TE Antonio Gates, who has been the forgotten man because of injuries. Gates, however, is coming back healthy and revitalized. Receivers Malcom Floyd and newly acquired Robert Meachem will play big roles as well in this revamped passing game. Lastly, RB Ryan Mathews will play a huge role, especially after his 1000 yard season in 2011. He will be the primary back, even with the presence of free agent Ronnie Brown.
Area of Strength: Even with the struggles of Philip Rivers and the Charger offense last season, the passing game will still be the strength of the team. Rivers will most likely throw for over 4000 yards. He’s got good receivers that will stretch the field and move the chains. Antonio Gates will re-emerge as a top tight end, as long as he stays healthy. Malcom Floyd will be the main man, and Robert Meachem will finally have the kind of season that everyone expected from him when he was drafted by the Saints. Also, running back Ryan Mathews will also be a big part of the passing game. This passing game will rebound from last years woes.
Area of Weakness: The defense will be the part of the Chargers that will be a definite weakness. It is an old unit and getting older by the minute. LBs Takeo Spikes and Shaun Phillips are the leaders along with Quentin Jammer and Atari Bigby in the secondary. These players were good in their day but they lack fresh legs. Last season, the Chargers uncharacteristically jumped out to a 4-1 start before the bye. After the bye, they lost 6 straight games, and their opponents racked up an average of 28 points. That will not be good this year, especially with the arrival of Peyton Manning in the division.
2012 Marquee Matchups: The Chargers have a tough schedule this season, highlighted by matchups with the Falcons in Week 3, and the Saints in Week 5. After their Week 7 bye, they take on some division foes, but they have a tough 4 week stretch in Weeks 12 through 15, taking on the Ravens, Bengals, Steelers, and Panthers.
All Things San Diego Chargers: There are several ways to keep up with the 2012 San Diego Chargers. Here are a few we like.
Apps: San Diego Chargers for iPhone (by San Diego Chargers)
Fan Clubs: The official fan club for the San Diego Chargers can be found on www.chargers.com under fan zone.