Friday, November 26, 2010

Hottest Team in the NFL: San Diego Chargers

Here are some statistics:
1st in passing yards per game
1st in opponents passing yards per game
4th in opponents rushing yards per game

These numbers alone mean the Chargers have the best passing offense, are the best at defending the past, and are the 4th best team at stopping the run. This doesn't even talk about their rushing attack, which when healthy includes Ryan Matthews, Mike Tolbert, and Darren Sproles. Philip Rivers is the offense MVP this season and isn't even getting the credit he deserves. Rivers is leading the NFL's best passing attack led by TE Antonio Gates and WR Malcom Floyd. In addition the list of weapons is endless. Rivers is throwing to receivers like Buster Davis, Patrick Crayton, Seyi Ajirotutu, and Legedu Naanee. Randy McMichael did a great job filling in for Gates and will be a valuable #2 TE. What is hard to believe is the Chargers and their #1 passing attack is without star WR Vincent Jackson who returns this week against the Colts. With Jackson on Floyd on each side, Gates in the middle, and Sproles out of the backfield defense will need to pick their poison with this offense. Injuries won't even stop this team as players like Crayton, Ajirotutu, and McMichael have proven they can produce when called upon. This rushing offense has been average (ranked 17th) but star rookied RB Ryan Matthews has been injuried but showed signs of making San Diego fans forget about LT. Matthews can be the teams go-to running back with his speed and power. Tolbert has filled in wonderfully and can use his big body to be the 3rd down and goaline back. Sproles cannot be contained on screens and seemingly breaks off at least 1 huge run per game on his speed alone. The Chargers offense is filled with weapons and maintained success behind a strong veteran offensive line. Lineback Stephen Cooper, Shaun Phillips, and Kevin Burnett are racking up the numbers this year in tackles and haven't missed a beat without Pro-Bowler Shawne Merriman. Second year OLB Larry English will also offer containment when he remains healthy and establishes his position down the road and in the playoffs. This secondary is manning the best pass defense in the NFL. Jammer, Gregory, Weddle, and Cason don't give up the big plays and have the ability to take risks knowing their linebacks and D-Line can pressure the opposing QB. After the Colts game their schedule gets pretty easy so they could finish 11-5 on a 9 game winning streak entering the playoffs. We have seen in recent weeks the Jets need luck and big plays to pull out wins and the Patriots have holes in their defense and a sketchy running game. The Colts can't stay healthy leaving Manning with few options. The AFC is strong but most of the elite teams have holes that are drawing huge criticism. The statistics and talent shows it: The San Diego Chargers are the best team in the AFC.

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