2013 San Diego Chargers Picks for Season Win Totals
by Indian Cowboy - 7/13/2013
The San Diego Chargers have been one of the bigger disappointments in the National Football League over the last several seasons. Under head coach Norv Turner, the Bolts never played up to expectations; when they made the playoffs they went nowhere (except for that one appearance in the AFC Championship Game), and now they've missed the playoffs the last three seasons. Last year San Diego suffered through its first losing campaign since 2003.
Now the Chargers go forward with a new head coach and minus many key players from past seasons.
But might a San Diego resurgence be in the cards as soon as this upcoming NFL season? We get the feeling the answer to that question might be a powder-blue “yes.”
As of early this week, most online sportsbooks were listing the Chargers with a wins “over/under” for this season of 7.5.
To review, San Diego actually started 3-1 last year but then lost seven of its next eight games. Five of those losses, though, came by a touchdown or less, with one in overtime. And that doesn't include that Monday night home loss to Denver in which the Bolts blew a 24-0 halftime lead then let the Broncos score the last 35 points of the game.
San Diego also went 0-5 vs. teams that made the playoffs last year.
The Chargers just never seemed to put it all together under Turner, who somehow seemed to foster a defeatist attitude on the San Diego sidelines.
Finally, in January the Chargers fired Turner (a year or two too late) and replaced him with Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.
Over the course of the offseason the Chargers also parted ways with several familiar names and faces, especially on defense, including CBs Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason, NT Aubrayo Franklin and LB Takeo Spikes.
By the numbers last year, San Diego ranked ninth overall defensively, allowing 326 yards per game, and was sixth vs. the run, holding foes to 96 YPG on the ground.
But the Chargers have some holes to fill on D. They only return one starter in the secondary, S Eric Weddle, and they need some help on the line and at linebacker. Toward that effort, San Diego took Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o at No. 38 overall in this year's draft and also signed pass rusher Dwight Freeney; hopefully the 33 year old has something left in the tank.
And San Diego is hoping for a comeback from S Brandon Taylor, the former third-round pick out of LSU who suffered a serious knee injury last year. But recent reports indicate he's doing well in his rehab.
San Diego might be a great spot for Te'o to play; it's not a major media market, so he can concentrate on playing football, instead of the aftermath of the off-the-field garbage that went down after the Irish got punked by Alabama in the BCS Championship Game back in January.
On the other side of the ball San Diego uncharacteristically ranked 31st in offense last year, averaging 297 YPG overall and 27th in rushing at just 91 YPG.
But we expect better out of the Chargers offense this season; they're basically set at the skill positions, and while the offensive line, which is undergoing some changes, needs to improve, that possibility exists with the addition of, among others, Alabama right tackle DJ Fluker, the 11th overall pick in the draft.
RB Ryan Mathews has had some problems with injuries and fumbles during his first three seasons in the league, but many running backs have experienced similar struggles early in their careers before excelling.
If the Chargers can get the running game going, maybe QB Philip Rivers can improve upon his sub-90 QB ratings of the last two seasons. And hopefully he won't get sacked 49 times like last year.
Yes, the San Diego offense might go through a learning curve with the new head coach and new system, but it's hard to believe it won't be more productive than last year.
Finally, the Chargers are slated to play the second-easiest schedule in the league this season based on last year's W/L records. San Diego has to play six games against teams that made the playoffs last year, but four of those are at home. Of course, they have to play Denver twice, but they should be able to take three of four games from Kansas City and Oakland. The Chargers also get winnable road games at Philly, Tennessee, Jacksonville and Miami, and they finish the season with two straight home games.
Some “experts” are picking the Chargers to finish last in the AFC West this season. But maybe that's exactly what they need. San Diego has floundered recently while playing with heightened expectations; now, they're released from that burden.
Add it all up, and we like the over 7.5 wins for the Chargers this season.
The Indian Cowboy team is looking forward to a big year with the “IC-3” football card. Our goal is to produce a 50+-Unit profitable season as we look for our third winning football season in the last four years. We have a great team in place, and we fully expect our methods to continue to translate into fall football success. Check out IC’s page for details. Also, IC wants you to try his handicapping service for free. Click here to get $60 worth of free picks from any sport IC handicaps.
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