After starting 5-7 in 2013, the Chargers surprised everyone with a 4-game winning streak and a surprise playoff appearance. Heading into 2014 they look like they have the tools to be a real contender in the AFC.
The Chargers are clearly a contender in 2014. And with no major losses of personnel besides offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt (who took the head coaching vacancy in Tennessee), the Chargers look like they may be even better than the 9-7 team that snuck into the playoffs.
Philip Rivers did his best Lazarus impression by recording the highest completion percentage of his career (69.5%) and a 105.5 passer rating to go along with his 4,478 passing yards and 32 TDs. His receiving corps still has veteran TE Antonio Gates and the emergence of WR Keenan Allen was a surprise that helped the Chargers win multiple games.
With RBs Ryan Matthews and Danny Woodhead in the backfield the Chargers have plenty of weapons to beat opponents in a variety of ways. And the offensive line is nothing to laugh to about now that most of the players have settled on their roles.
The defense may not have many stars, but collectively it was 11th in points allowed and 12th in rushing yards allowed with Safety Eric Weddle leading the defense in tackles and interceptions.
The Chargers report to training camp in San Diego, California on July 24.