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The Chargers Will Miss The Playoffs

The Chargers currently sit at 6-5, 9th in the AFC. Prior to the season, they were seen as Super Bowl Contenders, but some things have gone wrong. The Chargers’ many issues will most likely keep them out of the AFC Playoff race.


Chargers’ Injuries

The Chargers entered the year with some studs on both sides of the ball. JC Jackson, Joey Bosa, Mike Williams, Khalil Mack, & Keenan Allen to name a few. However, four of those five have missed serious time. On the offense, Keenan Allen missed seven games with a hamstring injury, Mike Williams has missed three with an ankle. For the defense, Joey Bosa is on IR with a groin injury and JC Jackson is out for the season with a knee injury. Having that many star players out for weeks will diminish your team, making it much harder to win games. Justin Herbert had to throw to Josh Palmer and Deandre Carter as his main receivers for a couple of games. That group of weapons is not viable for success, which was seen in Herbert’s production.

Center Corey Linsley also just suffered a concussion, so he may be out for a game or two. The pile-up of injuries for the Chargers is definitely the reason that they are only the ninth seed in the AFC as of now. However, one of their “star” players was not good prior to the injury. Offseason signing JC Jackson was god-awful in his games he was healthy. Out of 126 corners with 100+ snaps, Jackson ranked last in coverage grade with a 28.1. Yes, a 28.1. He allowed so many catches that he would not permitted with New England, which was evident with his yards-per-reception mark of 19.5, 125 of 126. There was one play on the goal line where JC got burnt by Amari Cooper on an out route, a play that most likely would not have happened in his New England days.

Offensive & Defensive Woes

Clearly, injuries are not the only issue. The running game has been awful, as they rank 30th in yards per game, per attempt, and are 25th in TDS. Ekeler has been fine, in the receiving game at least, but it kind of is not his fault. The Chargers have been down in a lot of games, leading to Justin Herbert throwing the ball the second most times in the league. Ekeler has not gotten the ball a lot, 24th in carries, so at times it is not his fault, even though he needs to be better with those carries, as he is averaging an average 4.3 YPC. If Ekeler can pick it up, the offense could be very scary  opposition going forward. Some of this is the result of the coaching. Jake Piccuito talked about the coaching struggles for the Chargers.

Staley has been on the hot seat for a while now, I think he is one of the worst coaches in the league. Staley has always made questionable calls and really has shown minimal promise as a coach. He has had Justin Herbert for 2 years now and has not shown us anything to be excited about. He is a defensive coach and again, their defense has not given us a sliver of hope even with the ridiculous amount of talent they have. 

The defense ranks 26th in points allowed, 22 in total yards, 15th in passing yards, 27th in rushing yards,  & 24th in sacks. So what exactly has Staley done to show he was worth the hire from the Rams two years ago? With that much talent on both sides of the ball, Staley has failed to do the bare minimum. If he is still the coach after the year, be surprised. 

Rest of Season

If the Chargers make the playoffs at this point, I’d be surprised. Given the injuries to the roster, and Herbert playing through one himself, there is not much room for contention. The AFC is very competitive and they are already two spots out of the playoffs, and teams like the Jets and Patriots will give them a run for their money for that seventh seed. Their defense is their biggest issue since there is really no sign of improvement. Even if Joey Bosa comes back, he will not be the same this season since the groin injury was pretty serious. Khalil Mack & Derwin James are going to have to carry this unit down the stretch for their chance of playing in January.

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