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After spending the last 56 years in San Diego, the NFL’s Chargers packed their bags and moved 2 hours north to Los Angeles, California. The move, not without controversy, has started 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. Today, in their new home of Los Angeles, the Chargers franchise is in the capable hands of head coach, Anthony Lynn. Coming from Buffalo, where he served as the Bills offensive coordinator and interim head coach, Lynn brings a ground and pound mentality to the team which is frustrating to the opposition. Primarily running the ball on the ground opens up the passing game for Philip Rivers when he does drop back to pass, all the while resting the defense so that they can attack their opponent when they finally take the field.
Still under center in the 15th season of his career, 37 year old quarterback Philip Rivers continues the hunt for his first Super Bowl. Feeding off his fiery tenacity, the Los Angeles Chargers are attacking the field with an unprecedented motivation that is keeping the opposing team on their toes. Melvin Gordon had his option picked up for 2018, and was on an absolute tear before injuring his knee. Austin Ekeler was doing great before also battling injury, clearing the way for Justin Jackson to get the nod. Overflowing with talent at the wide receiver position, Rivers will, again, have his choice between Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates, who has been with the team since 2003, continues to shine in this electric offense. On the offensive line, Mike Pouncey has come over from Miami to join a great group which already features Russell Okung, and Dan Feeney.
Former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is the current defensive coordinator in Los Angeles. He was charged with the task of cleaning up a defensive unit that had given up the 4th most points in the league in 2016. Just one season in, the Chargers gave up the 3rd least amount in the NFL. They have fallen back to the middle of the pack, but are still very dangerous, with a tenacious pass rush coming from the tandem of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Linebackers Jatavis Brown and Hayes Pullard make their presence known on the field, while the backfield featuring Derwin James and Pro Bowler Casey Hayward always cause problems for the offense.
This Chargers team was playoff bound in 2018. A great game against Baltimore ended with the Chargers on top 23-17 in the wild card round. Matching up with New England in the divisional round, LA went down fighting against a relentless Patriots team. The 41-28 score spelled the end of the Chargers season. However, there is a lot to be proud of for this group. Expect them to come back with a vengeance in 2019.
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.