On the surface, it may seem like there aren’t many positives to draw on with a team missing the postseason for three consecutive seasons. While that may be true for the most part, the San Diego Chargers did have some areas where upgrades won’t be necessary this offseason (which is a good thing, because new GM Tom Telesco will be busy enough). Here are some of the more upbeat trends working in favor of the Bolts heading into the 2013 season.
The youth on defense has obvious talent, but the proof is in the pudding (or on the field). In 2012, the Chargers scored 110 points off of takeaways which ranked 7th in the NFL. That number was up from a measly 58 points they managed in the same category in 2011.
In addition to the optimism in takeaways, their team sack total also increased from 32.0 in 2011 to 38.0 in 2012. What must improve in the upcoming year is the consistency factor. The team had an 11-sack effort against the New York Jets and a five-sack performance against the Baltimore Ravens. That’s 16 in two games leaving just 22 to be spread across the other 14 contests. The Bolts had six games with zero sacks and those types of efforts must be eliminated if they want to again become an elite team.
KICK THIS AROUND
Nate Kaeding’s much maligned career in San Diego finally came to an uneventful conclusion in 2012 after yet another injury. Nick Novak came in for the second consecutive year off the street and was fantastic. He nailed all 33 of his PATs and went 18 for 20 on field goals. The even more encouraging part about this stat is the fact that those two misses were both from 50 yards or longer. The Bolts finally have a consistent kicker in house and they really need to get him re-signed heading into 2013.
After more than half of a decade with Norv Turner at the helm, fans finally have a coach that they can believe in with Mike McCoy. Given all of the fresh faces around the league succeeding, it’s about time the Chargers followed suit and hired a coach that can inspire confidence in the fan base instead of dread. There are plenty of areas that need to be addressed this offseason, but there is also real cause for optimism. 2013 could be a more positive outcome than many anticipate for San Diego.