The San Diego Chargers are terrible at returning punts

By Kenny Gardner
Eddie Royal San Diego Chargers
Jake Roth-US Presswire

The San Diego Chargers have a 4-7 record this season and there are many things wrong with this team.

San Diego is tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for 24th in the NFL with 22 sacks and their offensive line has given up 32 sacks, which ranks sixth in sacks allowed.

Philip Rivers has thrown 14 interceptions, which ranks second in the NFL, and San Diego averages 3.8 yards per rushing attempt, which ranks 24th in the NFL.

The biggest problem with San Diego is their terrible job at returning punts. San Diego averages 6.1 yards per punt return–30th in the NFL.

Former Denver Broncos return man Eddie Royal was supposed to help San Diego improve at returning punts, because they averaged 8.5 yards per return last season, which ranked 22nd in the NFL.

This has obviously not been the case because he is averaging a career low 5.3 yards per return.

Royal leads San Diego with 12 punt returns this season. He averaged over 11 yards per return for his career heading into this season, which ranked third among active players.

I expected Royal to be better than he has been, but his 5.3 yards per punt return ranks last on San Diego’s roster. Royal’s longest punt return of the season was 14 yards against the Oakland Raiders.

Royal got a three year deal worth $13.5 million during the off-season. His average salary of $4.5 million is ninth on San Diego’s roster, but he has not been close to matching this value.

San Diego needs to be better in their punt return game to take pressure away from their offense.


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