The San Diego Chargers lost their leader in receiving yards and touchdown receptions from 2011 when Vincent Jackson signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Antonio Gates will more than likely be the number one option for Philip Rivers in 2012. Gates led San Diego in receptions, receiving yards and TD receptions from 2004-2007, led San Diego in receptions and TD receptions from 2004-2008, led the team in receiving yards and TD receptions in 2010 when he missed six games and led the team in receptions every year after the 2003 season except 2010.
Jackson missed 11 games in 2010, so Malcom Floyd was San Diego’s second option when he appeared in games and Jackson did not play. In 11 games that season, Floyd had 37 receptions, 717 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Floyd was second on the team in receiving yards and TD receptions. In 2011, Floyd appeared in 12 games, led the NFL in yards per reception, led San Diego in receiving yards per game, was second in receiving yards and third in TD receptions. San Diego signed Robert Meachem to a four year deal during the off-season. Meachem’s best season came in 2009 when he caught 45 passes for 722 yards and nine touchdowns. Meachem had 40 receptions, 620 yards and six touchdowns last season.
Floyd missed five games in 2010 and four games last season, but he is a lot more familiar with the team than Meachem. I expect Floyd to be the second option if he can stay on the field. Meachem is more dependable in that aspect because he only missed two games in four seasons with the New Orleans Saints. Rivers still has threats down the field even with the loss of Jackson to Tampa Bay.