After a disappointing 2020 campaign, the Los Angeles Chargers made several big moves this offseason in hopes of a better season in 2021. The Bolts exercised Derwin James’s fifth-year option, signed tight end Jared Cook, and selected an offensive lineman and cornerback in the first two rounds of the draft. It won’t be easy in the same division as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, but the Chargers could surprise people and make a return to the playoffs this season. Now let’s jump into some true or false questions as the season rapidly approaches.
Justin Herbert will be a Pro-Bowl Quarterback in 2021?
False. Herbert will definitely improve this season, however, it’s hard to imagine he beats out the top quarterbacks in the AFC for Pro-Bowl votes. Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson will all likely get more votes than Herbert this season. That said, getting Pro-Bowl honors is the least of players’ worries. Herbert will have the chance to lead the Chargers to the playoffs for the first time since the 2018 season. In his rookie season, Herbert threw for over 4,300 yards and set the all-time rookie record with 31 touchdown passes.
Austin Ekeler will total 1,600 Scrimmage Yards in 2021?
True. Due to missing six weeks with a hamstring injury, Ekeler failed to reach 1,000 scrimmage yards last season. Now fully healthy and with stronger chemistry with Herbert, Ekeler should return to 2019 form and dominate this season. Two seasons ago, he rushed for 557 yards and three touchdowns, plus another 993 yards and eight touchdowns through the air. As long as Ekeler stays healthy, there are not many defenses that can stop him in both the running and passing attack. Therefore, Ekeler should easily reach 1,600 scrimmage yards in 2021.
Anthony Lynn will be Missed in Los Angeles?
False. Lynn took more backlash than deserved for the Chargers struggles last season, however, new head coach Brandon Staley is a much better option and will have plenty to work with on both sides of the field. Staley, a former linebackers coach for the Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos, and defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams in 2020 is a defensive-minded coach. In his one season with the Rams, Staley led the defense to lead the league in the fewest yards allowed, which resulted in head coach interest around the league.
Defensively, Staley and the Chargers have several star players: James, defensive end Joey Bosa, linebacker Kenneth Murray, and cornerback Chris Harris Jr. Offensively, they have Herbert, Ekeler, and pro-bowl wideout Keenan Allen, and dual-threat running back Ekeler. Staley has all the weapons he needs to succeed, it will be interesting to see how he utilizes them.
The Chargers Found Two Draft Day Steals?
True. Thanks to a quarterback-heavy first round of the draft, Rashawn Slater, who was considered the top offensive tackle by many draft scouts, fell to the Chargers at 13th overall. Slater will fill a gaping hole in the Chargers offensive line and will have an immediate impact. In the second round, the Bolts selected cornerback Asante Samuel Jr (the son of former NFL cornerback Asante Samuel). Sameul Jr will replace cornerback Casey Hayward, who the Chargers released earlier this offseason. Despite his draft stock falling due to missing half of the 2020 college football season, Samuel should have a huge impact in his rookie season.
Follow Kyle O’Connell on Twitter @KyleOConnell23
Main Image Credit:
Embed from Getty Images