2014 NFL Power Rankings countdown: 7. San Diego Chargers


Dec 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) looks to throw the ball during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Chargers won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Power Rankings Countdown

7.  San Diego Chargers (AFC West)

2013 Record:  9-7

Head coach:  Mike McCoy – McCoy’s first season as the Chargers head coach was a successful one, as he led the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.  McCoy’s offense was a good fit for quarterback Philip Rivers, and the offense was ranked in the top five in the league.  However, McCoy will need to find a way to improve his defense to make a run at the AFC West title.

Best offensive player:  Philip Rivers, quarterback – Rivers rebounded in 2013 over a sub par 2012 season.  many believed that Rivers career was on a decline, but he produced 4,438 yards passing and 32 TD passes and was selected to the pro bowl.  And Rivers future looks bright in Mike McCoy’s offense.   NFL Power Rankings

Best defensive player:  Eric Weddle, free safety – Weddle is one of those players who always seems to be in the right place at the right time.  He led the Chargers in tackles for the second consecutive season, and is very good against the pass as well as the run.  Weddle was selected for the pro bowl last season as well.

Rising Star:  Keenan Allen, wide receiver – Allen had an outstanding rookie season.  He led the Chargers in receiving yards and tied for the lead in touchdown receptions with Eddie Royal.  Tight end Antonio Gates led in receptions.  Allen had a great college career at Cal, but some how slid to the third round of the 2013 draft, and the Chargers ended up with a huge steal.

Best new addition:  Jason Verrett,  cornerback – The Chargers had a need at cornerback, and the addressed the need by drafting Verrett in the first round of the draft.  It may take him a little time to develop, but once he gets acclimated Verrett should end up starting for the Chargers sooner rather than later.       NFL Power Rankings

Biggest offseason loss: No significant losses – This is one of the things that makes the Chargers possibly an even better team this season, is that they didn’t really lose any player than could hurt them much.  Only a few backup players.

Biggest strength:  The Chargers biggest strength is their quarterback Philip Rivers. As long as Rivers is still going strong, the Chargers should be in the hunt for the playoffs.  He’s a true franchise quarterback, and head coach Mike McCoy seems to know how best to utilize Rivers skills.          NFL Power Rankings

Biggest weakness:  The Chargers biggest weakness is their lack of pass rushers.  The Chargers registered one of the lowest sack totals in the league last season, and if they are to challenge Denver for the AFC West title that will need to change.  A healthy Melvin Ingram and draft pick Jeremiah Attaochu might help that cause.

32. Houston Texans

31. Cleveland Browns

30.  Minnesota Vikings

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

28.  Oakland Raiders

27.  Washington Redskins

26.  Atlanta Falcons

25.  Buffalo Bills

24.  Tennessee Titans

23.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

22.  Detroit Lions

21.  Miami Dolphins

20.  St. Louis Rams

19.  New York Jets

18.  Dallas Cowboys

17.  New York Giants

16.  Pittsburgh Steelers

15.  Philadelphia Eagles

14.  Chicago Bears

13.  Baltimore Ravens

12.  Cincinnati Bengals

11.  Arizona Cardinals

10.  Carolina Panthers

9.  Green Bay Packers

8.  Kansas City Chiefs

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