How To Bet On San Diego Chargers – Turner On The Hot Seat
It seemed for years like the San Diego Chargers were destined to dominate the AFC West and find their way to the playoffs as division winners, including a couple of seasons when Norv Turner’s club was actually considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender. However, the Chargers fell short of their goals for years, and injuries helped lead to them falling short once again in 2011, with a span of six-consecutive losses out of their bye week costing them a chance to make the playoffs in a wide-open division that the Denver Broncos won based on their AFC West record as one of three teams with an 8-8 record. The arrival of Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer could change the landscape in the AFC West heading in to 2012, but the biggest question remains whether or not Turner can get a talented roster that includes Phillip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, and Antonio Gates to finally break through. If not, it could be the end of the line for Turner in San Diego.
Head Coach: Norv Turner
Offensive Coordinator: Hal Hunter
Defensive Coordinator: John Pagano
Owner: Alex Spanos
Stadium: Qualcomm Stadium
Super Bowl Wins: 0
Rivers threw for 4,624 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2011, and his accuracy and touch make him one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. However, as he enters the prime of his career at 30-years old, Rivers will need to make better decisions in the pocket, and cut down from the 20 interceptions he threw a year ago. Running back Ryan Mathews is a threat to both run and catch out of the backfield, and gives the Chargers’ offense that added dimension only a handful of teams have with his unique skill set. Free agent addition Robert Meachem replaces Vincent Jackson, with Eddie Royal and Roscoe Parrish also joining the offense from the Broncos and Bills respectively. A healthy Antonio Gates will be a big factor in the success of the offense, and it will be important for Meachem, Royal, and Parrish to gel early on in camp. The Chargers’ offensive line overcame injuries a year ago with Jared Gaither proving to be a strong addition, and like the other positions health will be a key factor in their football betting success.
Grade: B +
The San Diego defense was very average a sports betting year ago, finishing 13th against the pass and 20th against the run, and giving up too many big plays in crucial situations when they needed to hold the line in important games. The Chargers addressed their talent need on that side of the ball in the draft, where they used their first three picks on defensive players. San Diego got lucky when defensive end Melvin Ingram fell to 18th overall, and added another key piece up front in Kendall Reyes in the second round before tagging LSU safety Brandon Taylor in the third. Veteran linebacker Jarrett Johnson was brought in from Baltimore to help against the run, and if Reyes, Ingram, and last year’s top-pick Corey Luiget can all take a step forward than the Chargers’ front-seven will be very improved. San Diego also added safety Atari Bigby from Green Bay to play alongside Eric Weddle, while cornerbacks Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason return hoping that an improved pass rush will help them in the secondary.
Grade: C +
The Chargers are set on special teams with Nick Novak among the most popular players on the internet, and one of the most popular on the sideline as well. Everyone will remember Novak’s break to relieve himself on the sideline last season, but more importantly he connected on 27-of-34 field goals. Punter Mike Scifres is among the best in the NFL at what he does, and Richard Goodman did a solid job in the return game a year ago with an average of 27.5 yards and one touchdown, so he should be the frontrunner to handle those duties again in 2012.
Grade: A -
The Chargers have been considered underachievers for years, but heading in to a season where so much attention is on the other NFL betting teams they may be able to fly under the radar and surprise. There is no denying the talent on this roster, but the question remains whether or not Turner can take advantage of a strong roster and relatively mediocre schedule for a San Diego team that is overdue to break through.
Projected Record: 10-6 (First in AFC West)
2012 Regular Season Schedule
Week 1 – at Oakland (Monday, 10:15 PM ET)
Week 2 – vs. Tennessee (4:25 PM ET)
Week 3 – vs. Atlanta (4:05 PM ET)
Week 4 – at Kansas City (1:00 PM ET)
Week 5 – at New Orleans (8:20 PM ET)
Week 6 – vs. Denver (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)
Week 7 – BYE WEEK
Week 8 – at Cleveland (1:00 PM ET)
Week 9 – vs. Kansas City (Thursday, 8:20 PM ET)
Week 10 – at Tampa Bay (1:00 PM ET)
Week 11 – at Denver (4:25 PM ET)
Week 12 – vs. Baltimore (4:05 PM ET)
Week 13 – vs. Cincinnati (4:25 PM ET)
Week 14 – at Pittsburgh (1:00 PM ET)
Week 15 – vs. Carolina (4:05 PM ET)
Week 16 – at New York (8:20 PM ET)
Week 17 – vs. Oakland (4:25 PM ET)