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NFL Football 2013: San Diego Chargers Preview

Posted by Stan Simmons on 7/24/2013 7:20:02 PM

When people in the online sports betting legal community try to assess the San Diego Chargers this season, they’re going to face two fundamentally competing tensions: On one hand, the AFC West might be weak and volatile enough that the Chargers could snatch second place and carve out a half-decent season. On the other hand, the Chargers just don’t seem to be ready to take advantage of the Oakland Raiders and especially the Kansas City Chiefs.

A sound sports bet has to be able to depend on one team’s stability relative to another team’s lack of firm footing. The Chargers could be in a position to pounce this season in the AFC West, because the Raiders are a mess and the Chiefs are in transition with a first-year head coach, Andy Reid. Kansas City is coming off a horrible season on and off the field, with a murder-suicide casting a cloud over the organization and leading to the dismissal of the head coach (Romeo Crennel) and the general manager (Scott Pioli). The Chiefs might need a year to re-establish themselves, but is San Diego going to be able to take advantage and get second place in a division where the Denver Broncos are almost certain to finish first?

For people interested in football betting, it has to be said that the best play one could make on a Charger game in 2013 is an “under” play on the over-under. San Diego’s better moves have come on defense, chiefly with the addition of pass rusher Dwight Freeney from the Indianapolis Colts. The Chargers and Colts knocked heads in multiple playoff games over the past decade, so Freeney’s presence in San Diego is going to feel quite different. However, Freeney could give this defense an extra measure of speed… and an ability to slow down Denver quarterback Peyton Manning. The Chargers had lost a lot of depth on their defensive front, so Freeney will shore things up, provided that his body can stay healthy.

San Diego also gained reinforcements in its secondary, taking cornerback Derek Cox from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Chargers have made a concerted effort to look to veterans for help on defense. Banking on the experience of tested performers will give new head coach Mike McCoy some peace of mind heading into the season.

It’s on offense, though, where the Chargers are really in trouble. Philip Rivers used to be an All-Pro quarterback, but he has seen his skills and results deteriorate over the past few seasons. Rivers is not seeing the field or making instinctive responses to pressure the way he used to. He looks hesitant on the field and seems to have happy feet. This is partly a measure of Rivers as a quarterback in the present tense, but one also has to acknowledge that Rivers has also faced more pressure in recent seasons. His offensive line has been shredded by injuries and slowed by increasingly old age. The team signed Max Starks from the Pittsburgh Steelers, giving Rivers a new left tackle. However, Starks needs to get help from other linemen if the Chargers are to deliver a solid season this fall.


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