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NFL San Diego Chargers

5 Reasons San Diego Chargers Will Go Even Deeper Into NFL Playoffs Next Season

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5 Reasons San Diego Chargers Will Go Even Deeper Into NFL Playoffs Next Season

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Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

It may seem like a team that needed all the help the San Diego Chargers required in the last month of the regular season just to make the NFL Playoffs should be thankful they even won one game in the postseason tournament. Though the Bolts did receive plenty of aid from their some of their competitors to actually continue playing in January, what they did once they got there was no fluke.

After years of being a trendy Super Bowl pick by analysts and fans alike, the Chargers had fallen on hard times heading into last season having missed the postseason three years running. Many had given up on quarterback Philip Rivers who had suddenly been written off as turnover-prone and washed-up, and a first-year head coach in Mike McCoy was predicted to really struggle in year one.

Funny how things work out, isn’t it?

So now the expectations are returning to sunny Southern California with the Chargers boasting a squad with plenty of young talent and a similarly youthful coach to lead them to the promised land. The roster may still be a work in progress this offseason, but much of the framework has already been laid for this club to make its ascent into the perennial contenders.

Even though the Bolts were given some awfully fortunate breaks to punch their ticket to the postseason this past year, that doesn’t mean they can’t make these playoff trips a regular thing moving forward. There were several things that went exactly the way the Chargers needed this past season, but there were also a number of events that were far from ideal.

This young team doesn’t just want one token playoff appearance only to be forgotten about in the NFL landscape for the next handful of years once again. These Chargers want to prove that they have staying power amongst the league’s elites.

Here are five reasons the Chargers won’t just get back to the playoffs next season – they’ll play even deeper into January.

Anthony Blake is a Senior Writer/Copy Editor for Rant Sports. You Can Follow Him on Twitter, on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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5. New Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich

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Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Now I know this one might seem a little bit presumptuous being that Frank Reich has never been in this position, but he learned under head coach Mike McCoy and previous OC (now Tennessee Titans head coach) Ken Whisenhunt last season. Although the Whiz did have a good year in restoring Philip Rivers and getting the Bolts’ offense back on track, his play-calling wasn’t always all that innovative. Something tells me Reich will be a bit more experimental in his approach which can only mean better things lie ahead for this offense.

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4. Injury Bug Can’t Bite As Hard

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The preseason saw the Bolts lose wideout Danario Alexander and rookie corner Steve Williams for the year with ACL tears. Week 2 saw Malcom Floyd go down for the year -- and possibly his career -- with a frightening neck injury, and the following week saw linebacker Dwight Freeney get lost for the season thanks to a torn quadriceps. Needless to say, the Chargers didn’t exactly have luck on their side in terms of injuries this past season. 2014 can’t possibly be as bad as this season in that department, and that certainly should yield even better results in the year ahead.

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3. Another Solid Draft Class Coming

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

After the success story of Keenan Allen as a third-round pick turned into an absolute stud at wide receiver, it’s hard not to believe in general manager Tom Telecso to pull off an encore in this spring’s draft. Finding gems beyond the second-round probably won’t be a regular thing, but D.J. Fluker in round one and Manti Te’o in round two certainly were no slouches, either. Look for another solid draft class this offseason preferably loaded with help for a somewhat suspect secondary.

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2. Defensive Continuity Stays Intact

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

John Pagano will back as the defensive coordinator in San Diego next season, and he will be fully familiar with the pieces around him entering the year. His units always seem to get off to slow starts only to close strong and peak at the right time down the stretch. With a combination of some key additions in the draft and some luck on the injury front, this young defense led by Pagano will be more experienced, have better continuity and be ready to roll from day one next season. There’s no doubt Pagano will be pushing his guys to improve on the lackluster numbers of this past season, and that drive will really pay off come playoff time.

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1. Philip Rivers Has Belief Back

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no denying the fact that this is an offensive league now, and the Chargers will need their man under center to continue his revival to get back among the NFL’s elite signal-callers. Clearly Philip Rivers never lost belief in himself, but the fact that he saw some on-field success for the first time in a while and has a great group of young skill-players around him certainly bodes well for his career arc moving forward. Something tells me Rivers will be looking to take the bolo tie a bit deeper into the postseason when the Bolts get there next year.

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