5 San Diego Chargers Facing Make-or-Break Seasons in 2014

5 San Diego Chargers Facing Make-or-Break 2014 Seasons

San Diego Chargers
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY

After a year of resurgence under Mike McCoy’s watch in 2013, it’s hard to think anyone on the San Diego Chargers is in a put up or get out situation this coming season. But just like every roster, the Bolts have their fair share of players either struggling with lack of production, injury or age that may make this their final seasons with the team. Here are five players facing make-or-break campaigns in 2014.

5. Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

5. Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to say that Philip Rivers has to follow up the best season of his career with something even better, but what is true is that he must take this team deep into the postseason. Since reaching the AFC Championship game in just his second season as a starter, Rivers – and the rest of his San Diego teammates for that matter – have been regressing in January. This is the back nine of Rivers’ career, and it’s time for him to make his legacy.

4. Dwight Freeney

Dwight Freeney San Diego Chargers
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

4. Dwight Freeney

Dwight Freeney San Diego Chargers
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

If it weren’t for a lack of pass-rushing prowess on the roster, chances are the aging Dwight Freeney wouldn’t even be on the team at this juncture. A torn quad tendon forced him to miss the bulk of 2013, and health could easily be an issue again this coming season. Freeney may have once been one of the league’s fiercest sack masters, but he has clearly lost a step and may not even make the roster trim downs during training camp.

3. King Dunlap

King Dunlap San Diego Chargers
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

3. King Dunlap

King Dunlap San Diego Chargers
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

After shoddy blindside protection for quite some time following Marcus McNeill’s untimely retirement, the Bolts desperately needed to find a suitable replacement. While King Dunlap performed admirably when he was on the field last season, injuries were the story with him as well as he was able to suit up for just 11 contests. He’s only 28, but 2014 is the last year on his contract and a lack of durability may ultimately lead to his dismissal.

2. Jeromey Clary

Jeromey Clary San Diego Chargers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2. Jeromey Clary

Jeromey Clary San Diego Chargers
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Honestly I will be appalled if Jeromey Clary is on the 53-man roster to begin the 2014 season. He carries a $ 4.55 million cap hit next season and has been a habitual false-start waiting to happen during his tenure with the team. Depth at guard may be at a premium, but when it’s untalented depth it essentially becomes irrelevant. Calling 2014 a make-or-break may be putting it mildly as Clary appears to already be broken in my eyes.

1. Ryan Mathews

Ryan Mathews San Diego Chargers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1. Ryan Mathews

Ryan Mathews San Diego Chargers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The lightning rod of conversation with the Chargers has been running back Ryan Mathews ever since the team let Michael Turner, LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles leave in 2007, 2009 and 2010 respectively. He may be coming off of his best and only healthy season to date, but injuries caught up to him in the playoffs and cost the Bolts when it mattered most. In the last year of his contract, Mathews will have to show real consistency in 2014.

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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