What’s the story?
The ch-ch-ch-Chargers are ch-ch-ch-changin’. A rough 7-9 season caused the final firing of head coach Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith after years of rumors to that effect. The new season brings new leadership and hope to battle for first place in the AFC West with the Broncos, not last place with the Chiefs and Raiders.
Leader and commander:
Former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Hiring a rival team’s offensive coordinator after he just helped to achieve a 13-3 record with Peyton Manning and friends? Not a bad move, Chargers.
New kid on the block:
The oft-disparaged rookie linebacker Manti Te’o, who is likely the most eager man in the NFL to get out there and hit someone. Despite everything he has been through this off-season, he’s still a good man and a great player. Wishing him only the best in SD.
Last year was…
…a healthy sprint to the finish (winning 3 of the 4 final games) preceded by a long limp (losing to almost everyone they played who wasn’t in their division). When you consider that this is a team that played four games against the Chiefs and the Raiders, who they swept, the 7-9 record doesn’t look as much mediocre as it does pretty bad.
How does 23rd sound? That’s how the preseason power rankings see it. This one could go either way. The team could respond to new head coach Mike McCoy and get back to the days of being a yearly contender in the AFC, or they could continue to struggle and find themselves in rank with the other less-than-successful AFC teams. Either way, out-winning the Broncos to win the AFC West is going to be a tall order.