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After spending the last 56 years in San Diego, the NFL’s Chargers have packed their bags and moved 2 hours north to Los Angeles, California. The move, not without controversy, will start a new chapter for Chargers football. The team actually originated in 1959 as an AFL team and played their first season in Los Angeles before moving to San Diego. Switching to the NFL in 1970, the Chargers became members of the AFC West and remain so to this day.
An AFL powerhouse in their early years, the Chargers reached the AFL Championship game five times, winning it all in 1963. Since the merger, the Chargers have reached the playoffs 13 times, advancing to the Super Bowl in 1994 where they would lose to the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 49-26.
In the more than 20 years since this Super Bowl, the Chargers have seen a number of star players and coaches try to help them achieve their goal of bringing a title home. This year, with their new home of Los Angeles, the Chargers have placed their franchise in the capable hands of a brand new head coach, Anthony Lynn. Coming from Buffalo, where he served as the Bills offensive coordinator and interim head coach last season, Lynn brings a ground and pound mentality to the team which is sure to frustrate the opposition. Primarily running the ball on the ground will open up the passing game for Philip Rivers when he does drop back to pass, all the while resting the defense so that they can pound the opposition when they finally take the field.
Entering the 14th season of his career, 35 year old quarterback Philip Rivers is still chasing his first Super Bowl. Feeding off his fiery tenacity, the Los Angeles Chargers will be ready to attack the field with an unprecedented motivation that will keep the opposing team on their toes. Melvin Gordon will bear the brunt of the ground and pound offense as he figures to get the most touches in the backfield this season. Coming off injuries to his knee and hip, Gordon was three yards shy of going over 1,000 yards last year in just 13 games. A healthy Gordon will go a long way for the Chargers offense. Overflowing with talent at the wide receiver position, Rivers will have his choice between Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, and 2017 1st round draft pick Mike Williams. Future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates will line up in his usual spot at tight end. The Chargers also used draft picks on Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney, two guards who are sure to solidify their offensive line.
Former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is the new defensive coordinator in Los Angeles. He is charged with the task of cleaning up a defensive unit that gave up the 4th most points in the league last year. The foundation is in place for him, with a decent pass rush coming from the tandem of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Linebackers Jatavis Brown and Denzel Perryman are ready to take the next step in their game and contribute in a big way. The defensive backfield features Jason Verrett who was picked up for the 5th year option on his contract, veteran safety Dwight Lowery, Jahleel Addae who just signed a new four year deal, and Pro Bowler Casey Hayward. If the defense can hold up this season, then the Chargers first season back in Los Angeles could be a big one.
Never short on talent, this franchise has employed some great NFL players over the years. Among the most beloved players to don the white helmet with the lightning bolt on it are LaDainian Tomlinson, Junior Seau, Antonio Gates, Dan Fouts, Kellen Winslow, Lance Alworth, and Philip Rivers. Additional information about the illustrious history of the Los Angeles Chargers franchise can be found by clicking here.