The Los Angeles Chargers barely missed the playoffs last season. With a few upgrades, they could challenge in the AFC come 2018.
The Chargers are closer to contention than many might realize. Philip Rivers is playing great and is surrounded with potent weaponry. The defense has some serious playmakers at the most important positions. It was the kicking game that once again haunted the Chargers in 2017 though. Still, in their first year in Los Angeles, this franchise finished the season with the best point differential in the AFC West.
There are certainly areas of Los Angeles’ roster that could use improvement. But overall, this is a team that lacks a massive gaping hole in any specific position group, with the exception of kicker.
As mentioned Rivers is still playing great. In fact, even during his age-35 season, Rivers had one of the best years of his illustrious career. Rivers is one of the most underrated players at any position of this generation and few still seem to realize what a great quarterback he still is and how much he makes those around him better.
Still, his immediate backup, Kellen Clemens, has an expiring contract. That just leaves Cardale Jones with Rivers as Los Angeles’ only quarterbacks on the roster of note.
Jones has a ton of ability and hopefully has learned a lot behind Rivers, but it would be unwise to count on him as Rivers pure backup for 2018 or as his true long-term successor. The Chargers could take two approaches here and both would make plenty of sense. They could add a trustworthy veteran to backup Rivers should their star quarterback go down. Or Los Angeles could draft a quarterback to develop.