2010 NFL Team Odds, Preview, & Predictions- San Diego Chargers
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San Diego Current Odds to Win:
Chargers AFC West Odds – 2/5
Chargers AFC Championship Lines – 11/1
Chargers 2011 Super Bowl Futures – 11/1
San Diego Chargers Season Over/Under Win Total – 11
In 2009 the San Diego Chargers once again got off to a slow start, losing three out of their first five including a 23-34 loss to Denver in week six that put them 2 ½ games back in the division. Starting the following week with a 37-7 win over Kansas City, they won their final 11 games to finish 13-3. They finished five full games ahead of the Broncos in the AFC West and earned a first round bye in the postseason.
Unfortunately this tremendous run came to an abrupt end when they lost to the Jets in the Divisional Round of the playoffs; 14-17 at home.
Despite this disappointing early exit, optimism for another West title and a deep run in the playoffs this season remains high. With the exception of the loss of RB LaDanian Tomlinson, their roster remains fairly intact from last year. They have an offense that finished the season ranked 10th in total yards per game, but fourth in total points scored. Their defense was ranked 16th overall, but 11th in points allowed.
QB Philip Rivers will once again be the key component on offense. Last year he threw for 4,264 yards, completing over 65% of his passes. He ended the year throwing 28 TD’s against only nine interceptions.
One problem on the horizon is the status of his favorite receiver; Vincent Jackson. Already faced with a three game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, Jackson is also caught up in a contract dispute that could keep him out of the lineup even longer.
If he is not part of this offense for a prolonged period of time it could have a serious impact on River’s production.
In an effort to replace Tomlinson, the Chargers used their first pick in the draft (12th overall) to select Fresno State RB Ryan Matthews. Matthews bring a power style of running that should be an excellent complement to the outside speed of Darren Sproles. He should also help to balance out an offense that was ranked fifth in passing but 31st in rushing in 2009.
San Diego used their next three picks in the draft on the defensive side of the ball in order to add some depth to unit that is starting to show its age. In the third round they added LB Donald Butler and in the fourth round they drafted FS Darrell Stuckey. They were also able to retain LB Shawne Merriman and DE Travis Johnson by resigning both to a one year deal.
Given the fact that the AFC West is one of the weakest divisions in the league, it is no wonder that San Diego is far and away the odds-on-favorite to win it again.
The biggest question for this team is do they have enough talent to seriously compete for the AFC title. They are already faced with some major labor distractions with Jackson and OT Marcus McNeill as well as some potential holes in the defense.
2010 Prediction: 1st in the AFC West
Win Total: Under
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David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.